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Javier Maciel, Andy Lee, Felix Verdejo, Sonsona, Get Wins In NYC, At MSG

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Jorge Melendez met late Javier Maciel in a junior middle scrap which was enjoyed the the crowd at MSG. The Argentine underdog Maciel eked out a decision, via scores of 94-94, 96-92, 97-91, on June 7, before Cotto-Martinez, as he scored a knockdown and got love the judges despite being the less heralded man, arguably, entering.

The 29-3 Argentine took the fight on around a week notice, after Yuri Foreman pulled out.

Mel (now 28-4-1) came out looking to land power shots in one and two. In the third, Mel banged to the body. He was loading up, coming forward, banging in close on Maciel.

The ref took a point from melee for his seventh low blow in the fourth. It woke Maciel up, as he sent melee to the mat. He hopped right up, and the crowd sent their love. The right landed high on the head and sent the PR man to the mat.

Maciel had Mel backing up, on his heels. He came forward after they butted heads, though. Maciel was ripping low and hight to end the fifth.

In the sixth, Mel showed more zest and told the judges he wanted it more.

In the seventh, Maciel hurt him, bulled him to the ropes, and melee moved some to clear the cobwebs. The Argentine pursued, had him trapped in a corner to end the round.

In the eighth, Mel was the aggressor, taking the role of the grinder, moving forward, being first. Maciel did some nice suble work to the body, with both hands. A long right sent sweat spraying on Mel, but he landed a couple nasties to end the round.

In the tenth, Mel landed bombs and then they traded. Maciel ended the round flurrying and then raised his hands in exultation..as did Mel.

They went to the cards.

Andy Lee, the lefty from Ireland, took on John Jackson, in a junior middle scrap, and at 1:07, he unleashed a drop-n-stop right, a clipping shot which sent Jackson to the mat for the count at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

A right hand sent Lee down in the first. The Virgin Island-born JJ, working lefty, traded with Lee near the end. It was a long right, coming after Lee threw a left which did the damage. Now working righty, then lefty, as Lee was cautious in the second.

The 29-year-old Lee, entering at 32-2, got tagged with counter rights and was overly cautious in the third. The crowd wasn’t digging all that much.

The 25-year-old JJ looked like the stronger guy from the start, and Lee wasn’t fighting a strategy to get around that. Then again, JJ wasn’t setting the world ablaze with his busyness.

Then, a counter right dropped and stopped JJ, after he sensed that he buzzed Lee. The clipping right, in tight, came as JJ was throwing his own. Lee’s got there first, and down JJ went, face first, like he’d been tased, bro.

His dad, ex 154 and 160 champ Julian, was present and happy when his son got up. Dad was stopped in all six of his losses. Jackson’s first loss came to Willie Nelson, back in 2012. “I ran into one, a bad one, a lucky punch..but a good one,” the loser said. “My son will be back, and be a world champion,” Julian said after.

Felix Verdejo got ‘er done, taking out Engelberto Valenzuela in the first. It was filthy bunch of shots, but maybe Val deserved a bit more time to answer, before Arthur Mercante Jr. hoped in. The time was 1:17, and the 21-year-old Felix, now 13-0 (10 KOs) managed to land low and high on Val (8-2; age 30; from Mexico), with left and right, in that short span.

Matchmaker Brad Goodman said the stoppage was quick, and that Felix will be gloving up Aug. 9. They will be happy in the Los Gladiolas area of San Juan tonight…

This next fight took place before the main event, but got kicked down here because it was sort of excruciating to watch…

In the warmup to the main event, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr took on Marvin Sonsona in a featherweight scrap, a plug-ugly contest never to be replayed or even mentioned again. The judges saw it 96-92 (Sonsona), 96-92, 96-92 (Sonsona), and the crowd reacted with nothing. It was time for the main event, thank heavens…

Vaz came in at 23-3-1, to 18-1-1 for the Filipino.

In the first, down went Vazquez, off a body shot. Sonsona, who lost to Vazquez via KO4 back in 2010, looked the more energized boxer.

In the second, Sonsona, the lefty, landed straight lefts. He fought backing up, and then looked to land a couple combos, on his time.

The Puerto Rican Vaz, age 29, 3-3 in his last six, waited too much in the third. In the fourth, Sonsona grabbed some, because hooks were coming at his body. Vaz was a changed man, more aggressive. He’d had some sense slapped into him between rounds. In the fifth, Son grabbed more, looked tired, lost the round.

In the fifth Sonsona strayed low and had a point taken. In the sixth, a clash of heads had Sonson wincing, grabbing his nose. Vaz strayed low again, and Sonsona got a break in the seventh. The ref barked at Sonsona for an infraction, and this one just kept getting uglier.

In the eighth, Sonsona showed more zest, but got popped with a power shot. In the ninth, Vaz was waiting too much again. The Filipino’s combos were decent at times, maybe giving him the round. The both tumbled to the mat to start the tenth. They hugged and grabbed, and then Sonsona landed a power shot to end it. The merciful powers that be sent us to the cards….

 

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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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