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Ivan Redkach Headlines June 27 “FNF:

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RED-HOT IVAN REDKACH HEADLINES JUNE 27TH ESPN FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS CARD AGAINST THE DANGEROUS FORMER WORLD TITLE CHALLENGER SERGEY GULYAKEVICH

RYAN KIELCZWESKI RETURNS IN CO-FEATURE AGAINST RAMSEY LUNA

New York, NY / St. Charles, MO (6/12/14) – On Friday, June 27, DiBella Entertainment, and Rumble Time Promotions, returns to the beautiful Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, MO, to present that week’s edition ofESPN Friday Night Fights and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates. Headlining the card will be the red-hot Ivan “El Terribel” Redkach (16-0, 13KO’s) taking on his toughest opponent to date in the dangerous, former world-title challenger Sergey “The Surgeon” Gulyakevich (41-2, 17KO’s) in a 10-round super lightweight matchup.

In the live televised co-feature, highly regarded undefeated prospect Ryan “The Polish Prince” Kielczweski(19-0, 4KO’s) puts his undefeated record on the line when he faces the once-beaten Ramsey Luna (12-1, 4KO’s) in an eight-round super featherweight showdown.

ESPN will begin live coverage at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN.

Since turning pro in late 2009, Redkach, a 2008 Olympic team alternate for his native Ukraine, has been on an absolute tear through the professional ranks. The tall southpaw is a tornado inside the ring with lethal knockout power in both hands. Redkach displays a frightening seek-and-destroy mentality from the moment the bell sounds. Eleven of his 13 knockouts have come in three rounds or less, with six coming in the very first round. The IBF #9 and WBC #10-rated USBA lightweight champion is coming off his most impressive victory to date, an exciting and dominant 10-round unanimous decision win over once-beaten Tony Luis on ShoBox in January. In Luis, Redkach met a slick and crafty boxer who was able to survive Redkach’s early onslaught and take the relentless Ukrainian into deep waters for the first time in his career. Redkach showed that he has more than one dimension though and was able to box and flurry with combinations down the stretch, ultimately earning him the well-deserved decision in what was a highly entertaining matchup. Redkach, who has been featured on Dan Rafael’s “Prospects to Watch” list on ESPN.com in back-to-back years, is honing in on challenging for his first world title. However, he must first get by the much more experienced and extremely dangerous Gulyakevich.

Nicknamed “The Surgeon” for his pinpoint punching accuracy, the 33-year-old Belarus-native Gulyakevich is currently riding a six-year, 15-bout winning streak, since dropping a controversial 12-round majority decision to then-reigning interim WBC super featherweight world titleholder Humberto Gutierrez back in 2009 in Gutierrez’ backyard of Mexico. Prior to the loss to Gutierrez, the then-European super featherweight champion Gulyakevich was coming off his most impressive victory to date, a 12-round unanimous decision against then-unbeaten and future WBC featherweight champion Vitali Tajbert. The only other blemish on Gulyakevich’s record came via seventh-round technical decision loss to 22-1 Alex Arthur in 2006.

Like Redkach, Gulyakevich is tall for the lightweight division, standing at 5’10”, and he is also a very aggressive fighter. Gulyakevich, now promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, has been anxiously awaiting an opportunity to make a splash in the U.S. market for years, and is chomping at the bit to finally make his stateside national television debut against the red-hot Redkach. Gulyakevich is hungry to prove that he is one of the top lightweights in the world, and knows that a victory over Redkach, who many believe will be challenging for a world title in the very near future, will surely cement himself as one of the top 135lb. fighters in all of boxing.

The co-feature will see popular and exciting Massachusetts-native Kielczweski returning to Friday Night Fights just a little over a year after he scored his most impressive victory on the network; a highlight-reel one-punch knockout over the previously undefeated knockout artist Miguel Soto (11-0, 11KO’s). Before a loud and raucous hometown crowd who had made the short trip over from Quincy, MA, to Salem, NH, Kielczweski absolutely dominated Soto from the opening bell, before landing a monstrous left hook that sent his foe crashing face first to the canvas in the fifth round of their scheduled eight-rounder. The knockout was so impressive that it was voted as the fifth best play on ESPN’s “Top-10 Plays of the Day”. A 2007 and 2008 New England Golden Gloves champion and 2008 National Golden Gloves runner-up, Kielczweski is looking to make the transition from top prospect to legitimate world contender and another stellar performance on the nationally televised ESPN network will do just that.

Kielczweski is expected to have his hands full with Luna. The Mexican-American Luna is a hard-charging aggressive fighter whose lone defeat as a professional came at the hands of former amateur standout and now undefeated top prospect Toka Kahn Clary in December of last year. Luna lost a unanimous six-round decision but had Clary in trouble a number of times, dropping him twice badly before ultimately losing a razor-thin majority decision. Following the defeat to Clary, Luna bounced back with a unanimous eight-round decision in May of this year, and is now ready to throw his name in the mix of the top up-and-coming 130lb. fighters in the world with a victory over the highly regarded Kielczweski.

Tickets are currently on sale and are priced at $80 for ringside and $40 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1(800) 293-5949 or by visiting www.metrotix.com. Doors open at 5 p.m. CT with the first bout scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.

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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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