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Pacquiao-Bradley 24/7 Ep 2 Recap

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Fight fans get a long look at the training camps of Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley in the second installment of HBO’s 24/7 documercial series, ahead of the Saturday rematch between the Filipino (partial?) buzzsaw, and the California-based boxer who has cemented himself into a top five pound for pounder, at least, in the last year.

We see footage of Pacman at Freddie Roach’s famed Wild Card Gym in LA, and note that Roach has installed a basement sub gym, where Manny can work out unbothered. The Congressman seems to like the new joint, which Roach terms “your house.” The Filipino flag is hung the right way, and that pleases the scrapper. “It’s more private during training, so it’s good for me,” Manny says.

Roach gives a thumbs up to Manny, and says Manny has more fire, because Bradley dissed his hunger. The boxer says he likes training, and still enjoys boxing. During down time, at night, Manny stays at the LA home he owns, instead of an apartment rental, packed with hangers-on. Advisor Michael Koncz says that Manny loves company, which helps him forget about missing family. The family won’t be at the fight, because Jinkee is due with their first child, a boy to be named Israel, at the end of April.

We see Manny’s dog, Li’l Pacman growling up a storm at various persons, and then switch to the Bradley camp.

The Cali boxer likes being at his own home gym, he says. He says he knows he has to basically KO Manny, because the judges will show extra love to Manny, who most perceived got screwed in the first tangle.

Bradley spends some time with the family, and wife Monica, we hear, is now his manager, after he chose to not renew a contract with Cameron Dunkin. The boxer says his wife can perform the same duties as Dunkin, without obtaining a fee for service. Dunkin, from what I know, greatly upped Bradley’s purses in the years he worked for the boxer, and I’d guess isn’t pleased at being kicked to the curb after proving so adept, and then, when the going gets good, hearing he wasn’t all that.

Monica did negotiate a two-year deal with Top Rank we hear, but this element did, frankly, leave me asking myself questions about loyalty. Did Tim Bradley underrate what manager Dunkin did for him in year’s past, and let dollar signs obscure that? It is, I suppose, purely for him to answer…

Monica Bradley says that the fighter takes the risk, and this move makes the most business sense for the family, long term.

Manny is then seen working out in a park, in the AM. He does all manner of exercises, under the guidance of Justin Fortune, who was with him from 2002-2007. Fortune tells Pacman he feels fresh, because he’s stopped drinking, because of Manny’s influence.

Fortune says that he and Roach made up after a financial beef. “The band’s back together,” he says, noting Manny was unbeaten with him in the mix. The Aussie says that Manny is doing a lot of old school training. Fortune says Bradley asked for the old Manny to come back, and that is what he shall receive.

Bradley, in Indio, works out in the AM, too. He does sprints, and he says politely ditching his dad overseeing workouts, as he has for the last five fights, is working well. He finishes by about 1 PM, and head trainer Joel Diaz then heads to the Boys and Girls Club, in Mecca, CA, where he works with kids for about three hours a day. Ten years ago, Diaz met young amateur Bradley and they clicked and worked together since. Bradley often works with the kids at the club, as well. The fighter recognizes that kids need opportunities and will get them in the ring.

Roach, meanwhile, also runs his main gym. Marvin Samodio helps out, while Liam Vaughn, aka Freddie Roach Jr, from England, also helps out. Roach and Liam head to a salon in Beverly Hills, and Freddie gets plucked and groomed. We see Mickey Rourke, a longtime Roach pal. He says Roach is well endowed, for the record, which he knows from the shower. For the record…

Roach thinks Manny will catch Timothy during a trade, and will show no mercy. “People want knockouts,” Freddie says he’s told Manny. He thinks “Manny will win this fight by knockout and think he’ll look good doing it,” in fact.

Bradley, at his home, heads off to drive his kid to school, in Palm Springs. He’s in the gym by 10 AM, and Bradley says he knows what to expect this time. Diaz can emulate Manny’s style, he says, and that helps Tim. The ex pro is still in great shape, and can approximate the Filipino. No, he’s not as fast, but he tries to throw similar combos and move the same way.

Bradley says he sometimes pinches himself, noting how far he’s come, from a hood where drugs and such were present. Boxing steered him right, he says, and that’s something negative nellies don’t get. That’s because, usually, they don’t have even a minor conception about the milieus that exist, where poverty, violence and hopelessness carry the day, the night, the whole of existence. “I earned it, I went out and took it,” Bradley says.

To close, we hear that the boxers are clear of the finish line. Manny knows he will be adding to legacy, and wants to elongate these prime years. Bradley wants to ascend higher, and leapfrog even Manny, and then, I guess, Floyd Mayweather. “I’m going to shock the world, again, but this time, I’m going to get the credit for it,” Bradley says.

Tune in for ep 3, tonight, at 8:30 PM ET, on HBO proper.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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