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Martinez Says Intelligence, Not Power, Will Be Key June 7

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Sergio Martinez, counting down to his June 7 faceoff against Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden, took part in a Tuesday conference call to talk about his scrap, his training and foe Miguel Cotto.

The 39-year-old Argentina native said he’s training in Miami, after training for a month in Spain. Through a translator, he said he’s ready to rock and roll, and thanked all for taking part in the call.

He was asked about his knees, and he said they are feeling great, and he’s been running fine, on the treadmill. He said he expects Cotto to be the lighter man in the ring, on fight night. He said he was on crutches for nine months following knee surgery, and that was hard, and it will all be fine come June 7.

He hasn’t felt this level of confidence, that he will put a hurting on Martinez, since the rematch with Paul Williams, in which he scored a one-punch destruction, he said.

And is he close to 100%? He’s just the same as he was when his knee was 100%, he said. The boxer was asked if he dislikes Cotto, which is what it maybe seemed like on the Max Kellerman Face Off which ran on HBO Saturday.

“There is no hatred, I’m a professional,” the fighter said. The words are basically over, he said, now it is wait for the bell to ring, time.

His promoter, Lou DiBella, said tix are available from $750 down to $150.

He was asked if Sergio is a bit irked this time, and he noted that there was something in the air prior to the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. bout. He said he looked impressive, and that if the fight went longer, Junior would have gassed. He won 11 1/2 rounds, and that’s impressive. He does indeed have power, he declared, and Dibella weighed in, and mentioned all the KOs he’s notched. “He beat Chavez into a bloody pulp,” Dibella said.

DiBella said that because the negotiation was tough, that may have bled into Sergio’s mood. DiBella said that the knee is as good as it was before the Chavez fight, and that he saw some things in camp that weren’t there in recent fights. He can move better laterally now, DiBella said.

Would he rather be in his early 20s? Sure, probably so…but a year off will be a “huge positive” for the middleweight champ.

I asked DiBella about the catchweight, which is supposedly 159 or less. He acknowledged it is indeed 159 pounds or less. “That is one of those concessions we had to make…the catchweight one pound off is a bit silly,” DiBella said. But, Sergio has never weighed 160 anyway, so it’s not a big deal to Team Martinez, he stated. He did say he found that request “annoying” and so did Sergio.

The placement on the poster, the naming of the fight, the catchweight, DiBella said all that annoyed him and Sergio, and he thinks that came from Cotto himself. But Sergio will focus just on the bout.

I also asked Sergio about Freddie Roach’s recent statement to me that Cotto is basting him with body shots, and making him pee blood. “I just hope he doesn’t hurt Freddie too bad, so Freddie can make it to the fight,” Sergio cracked.

I wondered if he fears, or heck, even respects Cotto’s power at middleweight. “Cotto doesn’t have the same power at this weight than he did at 147, I’m the one with the power, I’m the power puncher of the two. But the most important thing, the most important factor will be the intelligence I use in the fight.” He was later asked if he holds a large strength advantage, and said, again, ring generalship will be the ultimate key.

He said he is sparring the same amount as before, and isn’t conceding anything because of age or injuries.

He doesn’t care about Cotto saying he will be putting on muscle, and is only concerned with what he will bring to the table.

Sergio was asked if he feels that Cotto has dissed him in the leadup, not giving him proper credit as champ. The boxer said he doesn’t feel it’s about dissed, and he’s just focused on the fight. The promoter said his guy will in the end get the credit he deserves, for beating great fighters and battling through stupid politics. Does he have to win this one to get proper universal credit? Shouldn’t have to be that way, but it may be, said DiBella, “As far as legacy, I’m not going to pretend, this fight is huge,” he said.

The boxer thinks he has earned universal respect already. Regarding his fight against Martin Murray, in Argentina, that homecoming vibe will differ greatly from the atmosphere in NYC, where Cotto is a cash cow, won’t it? He said the judges won’t factor in, because he will win by stoppage.

Dibella said “this fight is gonna be a brawl,” and that Sergio is prepared. He said he won’t predict what PPV the numbers will be, and doesn’t think the fans really care about that.

Advisor Sampson Lewkowicz was also present on the call, and said that he echoed Dibella, regarding the import of the match.

Follow Woods on Twitter. It’s often entertaining. @Woodsy1069

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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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