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Tony Harrison Now In Main Event of April 17 FNF

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ESPN FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS CARD SHAKES UP

RED-HOT JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT TONY HARRISON MOVES INTO MAIN EVENT PUTS UNDEFEATED RECORD ON THE LINE AGAINST MEXICO’S PABLO MUNGUIA

TEVIN FARMER TO OPEN THE TRIPLE-HEADER AGAINST GABRIEL TOLMAJYAN

FRIDAY, APRIL 17TH

MOHEGAN SUN – UNCASVILLE, CT

New York, NY/Uncasville, CT (3/30/15) – The previously announced ESPN Friday Night Fights card has shaken up a bit. The card, being promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Fight Promotions Inc. and New Legend Boxing, at the beautiful Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, was originally slated to be headlined by Sergey Derevyanchenko (4-0, 3KO’s) taking on Elvin Ayala (27-6-1, 12KO’s). With Ayala facing a legal situation, promoter Lou DiBella has elected to replace the feature bout, moving Derevyanchenko over to his April 10th ShoBox card, and sliding in red-hot undefeated junior middleweight Tony Harrison (20-0, 17KO’s) into the main event slot. Harrison is set to square off against Mexico’s Pablo Munguia (20-6, 11KO’s) in the 10-round feature bout of the evening.

The eagerly anticipated co-feature remains intact, with WBA #10-rated super featherweight Ryan Kielczweski (22-0, 6KO’s) putting his undefeated record on the line against Connecticut’s own Danny Aquino (16-2, 10KO’s) in an eight-round featherweight matchup and battle for New England bragging rights.

Opening up the triple-header is junior lightweight contender Tevin Farmer (18-4-1, 4KO’s) taking on Gabriel Tolmajyan (14-4-2, 3KO’s) in an eight-round 130lb. matchup.

Live coverage will begin at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and will also be available through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via an affiliated video provider. In addition ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates will carry the fights live on broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+.

“I want to thank Al Haymon and Lou DiBella for giving me this fight and I also want to thank ESPN for giving me another opportunity to display my talent to the world. Come April 17th, you are going to see another great performance by Tony Harrison. I am coming to put on a heck of a show and display my full arsenal. I know my opponent is tough and he has been in there with some pretty good guys, but I am coming in there in top shape. This is going to be an exciting fight for as long as it lasts, so get there early, get your popcorn ready, and don’t blink,” stated Harrison.

The 24-year-old Harrison, a former protégé of the late great Emanuel Steward, is as good as any up-and-coming prospect in the game right now, and is expected to begin moving into title contention this year. The bout on April 17th will be his second straight headlining bout on the ESPN network in just over a month. On March 6th, Harrison destroyed longtime fringe contender Antwone Smith, dropping Smith twice in the first round before getting the official stoppage in the second. Munguia is expected to be a stern test for Harrison, arguably his toughest to date. Munguia is 3-2 in his last five bouts, but those five opponents have had a combined record of 92-5-2. In his most recent bout in February of this year, Munguia dropped a razor-thin split decision to highly regarded former Cuban silver medalist Yudel Johnson. Munguia knows that a win on April 17th, on national TV, will propel him into the type of fights that he is looking for.

“I want to thank DiBella Entertainment and ESPN for this great opportunity to get my career back on track and moving in the direction I want it,” said Munguia. “I have 20 wins and on April 17, I will secure my 21st victory, the most important of my career. I believe April 17th will be the beginning of a great run for me and my career.”

It is hard to think of another fighter in recent memory that has had as drastic a career turnaround as Tevin Farmer has had.Three years ago, Farmer’s record stood at 7-4-1 and he was considered nothing more than a tough Philly fighter who was a good opponent to match against up-and-coming prospects. Fast-forward three years and 11 impressive wins later and Farmer has not only emerged as one of the prospects he was once put in against, but as a legitimate contender. In his most recent outing in January, his first fight since signing with DBE, Farmer easily defeated once-beaten Victor Chernous (15-1-1), winning a dominant eight-round unanimous decision. Farmer, in whom promoter Lou DiBella sees style comparisons to Pernell Whitaker, comes from a boxing family and has family ties to Hall-of-Famer Joe Gans, who was called the greatest lightweight boxer of all time by boxing historian and Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer.

Farmer is looking to build his own legacy and knows he has the talent and ability to compete against the best the 130lb. division has to offer, but he must first get by the hungry and determined Tolmajyan.

“April 17th is a very big fight for me, the biggest of my career. Every fight out from here on is the biggest fight of my life,” said Farmer. “Every time I step into the ring, I’m looking to make a statement. I have worked so hard to get to this point; I can’t let anyone take this away from me. I want to thank my manager Mark Cipparone and my trainers Raul Rivas and Rashiem Jefferson for believing in me and Lou DiBella and ESPN for giving me this opportunity. Come April 17th, I am going to be at my absolute best. April 17th is going to be the beginning of something special.”

Like Farmer, Tolmajyan’s record is deceiving. Tolmajyan has never been stopped in his career, and three of his four career losses have come against undefeated opponents, including fellow Farmer conqueror, and #1 contender, Jose Pedraza. Tolmajyan holds victories over three previously undefeated foes, including an eight-round decision win over world-rated contender and former featherweight world-title challenger Daulis Prescott.

Additional bouts on the card will be announced shortly.

Tickets are currently on sale and are priced at $100, $70 and $30 (subject to additional fees). Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.mohegansun.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased by visiting the Mohegan Sun Box Office. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. ET with the first bout scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

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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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