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David Lemieux-Fernando Guerrero Tops Stevenson-Fonfara Undercard

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Knockout David Lemieux vs. Fernando Guerrero & Unbeaten Junior Middleweight Jermell Charlo Bolster Undercard Of “Superman’s” SHO Debut

fernando-guerrero-smiling 0a0bbPhoto of Fernando Guerrero by Tom Casino / SHOWTIME

Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (23-1-0, 20 KOs), the Sports Illustrated and The Ring Magazine 2013 Fighter of the Year, makes his SHOWTIME debut Saturday, May 24 at Bell Centre in Montreal in defense of his WBC Light Heavyweight World Championship against challenger Andrzej “The Polish Prince” Fonfara (25-2-0, 15 KOs), live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Montreal middleweight David Lemieux (31-2, 29 KOs) will face former world title challenger Fernando Guerrero (26-2, 19 KOs), of Sacramento, Calif., in the 10-round co-feature. World-ranked junior middleweights Jermell Charlo (23-0, 11 KOs), of Houston, and Charlie Ota (24-1-1, 16 KOs), of Tokyo, Japan, by way of New York, will open the telecast in a 10-rounder.

The Stevenson-Fonfara winner could be first in line to face legendary Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Bernard Hopkins in a fight to become the undisputed 175-pound champion. Hopkins, who made history on April 19h when he became the oldest fighter to unify a division, now holds the WBA and IBF titles.

“Adonis Stevenson is a fighter we’ve been interested in for a long time,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “He was scheduled to fight on SHOWTIME in 2012, but the card was canceled because of an injury. Now, following Stevenson’s breakout year in 2013, we are even more excited to see him in action on the network. Add the two co-features, featuring powerful punchers in closely matched bouts, and this becomes yet another SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event that you do not want to miss.”

Stevenson, 36, had a breakout year in 2013, recording victories over former undisputed light heavyweight world champion Chad Dawson, former world champion Tavoris Cloud, and top contender Tony Bellew.

In addition to his “Fighter of the Year” accolade, Stevenson’s first round KO of Chad Dawson was awarded “2013 Knockout of the Year” by numerous publications, including USA Today, ESPN, Boxing Scene and Bleacher Report.

Fonfara, 26, a native of Warsaw, Poland, is undefeated at light heavyweight. He has won 13 in a row, and is 15-0 with one no-contest since his last loss in July 2008. Fonfara is rated as the No. 1 light heavyweight by the IBF and WBO, as well as No. 3 by the WBC.

One of Canada’s top prospects, Lemieux, 25, has won by knockout in 29 of his 33 professional fights. Lemieux was born and raised in Montreal and has campaigned exclusively in Canada since turning pro; the vast majority of his fights have been at the Bell Centre. Lemieux was a four-time Canadian amateur champion before turning pro at the age of 18 in April 2007.

Guerrero, 27, is a Dominican southpaw with good skills and movement. Known for his body-punching, Guerrero has won five of his last seven fights. Last Nov. 11, he rallied from an opening-round knockdown to win a close, 10-round unanimous decision over Raymond Gatica in San Antonio. Two starts ago, Guerrero lost by seventh-round TKO to unbeaten WBO Middleweight Champion Peter Quillin on April 27, 2013, on SHOWTIME.

Charlo, a 5’ 11”, 23-year-old whose twin brother Jermall is also a world-ranked 154-pound contender, is coming off a career-best, 10-round unanimous decision win over the always-tough Gabriel Rosado on Jan. 25. The talented Charlo is ranked No. 4 in the WBO, No. 5 in the IBF, and No. 6 in the WBC.

jermell-charlo-belts df822Photo of Jermell Charlo by Esther Lin / SHOWTIME

Ota, 32, has campaigned primarily in Japan. This will be his third fight out of the country. He is ranked fifth in the WBO and eighth in the WBC at 154 pounds, and has won 17 in a row since July 2005. Ota will be making his SHOWTIME and 2014 debut in Montreal. His only career loss came in his seventh pro fight via a majority decision.

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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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