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#PacBradley 24/7 Ep 3 RECAP

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HBO unwrapped their third and final installment of the 24/7 documercial series on Thursday night, two days before Manny Pacquiao, the 35-year-old Congressman/pugilist, rematches with Timothy Bradley, the iron-willed stamina freak from Cali.

HBO play by play ace Jim Lampley looked back at the first tangle between the two. It was June 2012, and Lamps recalled it as an “infamous” night, because of the scoring snafu which had Bradley getting his hand raised, despite 98% or so of watchers believing Pacman was the man.

We heard snippets of color man Manny Steward, and several writers opining that Manny was looking like the better man most of the night. Emcee Michael Buffer said he almost did a double take as he looked at the scorecards, to make sure they had it right. Lampley said “God only knows how” on fightnight, after reporting the cards.

Lampley and Roy Jones sat on a Vegas strip street, and Jones told Lampley that Bradley’s jab fell off very early, and became a “measuring” or “pawing” tool. Manny set nice traps, and landed sharp lefts, he said, on Bradley. Bradley got smarter, moving more inside or outside, not staying at midrange, Jones noted. The analyst said that Manny challenged Bradley’s right hand in the 2012 tangle. Jones thinks Bradley could look to land less power punches and that could help him land more. Lampley noted that Manny hasn’t had a KO in his last seven bouts, and we see Manny being asked if he was in a state of disbelief when the scores were announced. He was surprised, yes, but then shrugged it off, as part of boxing. Manny then repeated what we’ve heard, if we’ve followed the buildup, that Bradley’s chops-busting in the leadup has benefitted him, helped him get motivated. He was asked about the need or possibility of the KO, and once again said that’s what he’s aiming for. He said he’s aiming for a conclusive win, and said he wants to fight on, for awhile, for a couple more years, but that depends on what goes down Saturday. And, I guess, if he goes down, right?

Tim Bradley was then peppered with queries. The fighter said he was happy, the sad, and then deeply depressed following his “win.” The boxer said that hearing criticism over the last couple years has been a positive, because he’s bounced back, and he now doesn’t care what naysayers are saying. Bradley said he notes that Manny’s animalism has diminished, and many Manny-iacs think the same. And does he have to dominate to get judge love? He said even if Manny gets the nod but the fans and media know he won, he’s good with that.

We saw Bradley hit his home gym, and saying that Manny has been at the top for a long time, and it’s lonely at the top. No way Manny has worked harder than him, he said. Bradley and trainer Julio Diaz do a workout, and Diaz talks smack about Freddie Roach. Bradley is then on a bus, with family, and hits a Lakers game, and chats with Reggie MIller and Chris Webber, on TNT, at Staples Center. Bradley said he’s aiming for a round 8 KO, for the record. Lampley said his taking hours off to hit the Laker game speaks to his confidence.

Next, we hear from Dyan Castillejo a Filipino journalist; she says she feeds the beast all the time about Pacman news. No detail is too small, including what Manny snacked on…She says she knows when is a good time to talk to Manny, but now, because he’s MANNY, she has to wait more than a decade ago. Castillejo talks about that Marquez knockout. She says that her office called her and asked if Manny was alive when he was facedown. The nation fights vicariously through the boxer, she says, and the people got some happiness after that vicious typhoon last year when Manny notched a win. Jones came back, and told Lampley that Bradley holds the psychological advantage, because he has everything to gain. Jones said that Bradley is in a good position to out-point Manny, if he survives. The first round will actually be round 13, Jones said, and then Lampley offered some social media fare for fans.

He plugged the weigh-in show, which kicks off on HBO, at 6 PM ET, TONIGHT!

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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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