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Matthew Macklin In High-Stakes Bout in Dublin

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UPDATE 2: Macklin advisor Anthony Catanzaro of Brooklyn checked in with TSS, and told us about the scrap. “It was a hellacious pace, a very taxing and grueling fight,” he said. “It was close going into the tenth round, then Heiland capitzalized on the fatigue factor. Matthew fought real hard, the crowd and the electricity in the arena was fantastic. I’m proud of him!”

And, was there talk of retiring, or continuing? “I had breakfast with him the next day,” Catanzaro said. “He won’t think about that till after the holiday.”

UPDATE: We told you Matt Macklin was in tough Saturday, and that he knew it. That was made much more clear when Macklin got stuck on the ropes in Dublin, and foe Jorge Sebstian Heiland knocked him senseless with a right hook, scoring a KO10 win over the likeable Irishman.

A left hand down the middle, in tight, followed by a right hook which exploded on his chin made Macklin unable to defend himself. He sunk to the mat, eyes glazed, and the ref knew he was in no condition to continue.

Will he continue in this savage sport? We shall see; he is 3-4 in his last seven and has been stopped twice in that span.

It goes without saying, but we say it anyway–we wish a good man well, whatever he decides is his next move.

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Fan friendly hitter and all-star good guy Matthew Macklin gets it on tonight in Ireland, and he’s in tough, with a guy not known to the American boxing heads, but yes, no pushover.

“I’ve been training with Joe Gallager back in Manchester, Enaglnd, and I’ve not felt this good since I fought Felix Sturm (June 2011),” the 32-year-old boxer with a 32-5 record told TSS. “I’m in great condition and felt good in sparring with lefty Craig McEwan.”

The foe tonight at the 3 Arena in Dublin, on an Eddie Hearn promotion, is one Jorge Sebastian Heiland, a 24-4-2 Argentine on a three fight win streak. He’s a southpaw, who, Macklin tells me, “has a high work rate, high volume of punches, likes to be aggressive and overwhelm his opponents. He likes to work to the body and basically pile on the pressure. He’s a durable guy, never been stopped. He’s avenged two of his four losses, the other two were to Sebastian Zbik and Nilson Julio Tapia.”

The WBC international middleweight title will be up for grabs in what should be a sold out joint.

And, is this guy Heiland comparable to anyone on the rock-solid Macklin resume? Mack the Knife, who grew up in Ireland, has been in with Sturm, Sergio Martinez, Gennady Golovkin, Joachim Alcine…

“It’s difficult to say, I mean he hasn’t fought in the class of an Alcine..but he’s bigger, stronger and fresher, definitely more solid, a better chin too.”

Sounds like a stern test?

“Yes, a proper fight…but I’m in a good place,” Macklin stated.

His advisor Anthony Catanazaro, whose rep within the game ticked higher when we saw his kid Sadam Ali upset Luis Carlos Abrego on HBO last weekend, told me the same, that this is no gimme fight. He said that the stakes are immense, that the winner could get a crack at the WBC middleweight title now around the waist of Miguel Cotto, who is negotiating to fight Canelo Alvarez in May.

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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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