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Vargas Wants To Come Back Better

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A glaring sign of maturity occurs when one realizes that defeats will occur in life and rather than being grounds for capitulation or depression, they are quite often useful building blocks for growth.

That’s I think where Jessie Vargas (age 26; now 26-1 with 9 KOs) is right now…

You recall that he got handled pretty good by Tim Bradley, the sawed off volume brawler/boxer who impressed mightily when they tangled on June 27, in California.

Until the 12th round, the almost fateful 12th, which saw the younger, unbeaten boxer land a brain-rattler right, and Bradley get spaghetti legged from it. But a chance to follow up was lost when ref Pat Russell mistook the ten second alert for the bell signifying the end of the round. That, yes, still sticks in the craw of Vargas.

So, JV, what were your top takeaways from that bout? “Start off early,” he told me. “That would be it.”

Right…what he did in the twelfth, that mindset, get into that from the get go…

And, um, why wasn’t that there earlier? “I don’t know,” he admitted. “I just wasn’t letting my right go. My corner asked me for it. (Erik Morales was his chief second.) It was a mistake on my part. But, look what I did just with my left! It was a competitive fight even though I didn’t let my hands go enough. I will definitely come back stronger. It was a great experience. Tim Bradley is such a high caliber fighter. And I nearly knocked him out. I know my potential is sky high.”

But he wasn’t able to close the show..and it pains him. So, has he watched it? “I watched it a few times. But the ending, there’s no staying away from it. It was a wrong call by the ref. Any way you look at it, he was wrong. He robbed me of an opportunity to put Bradley on the canvas.”

Is he ANGRY at Russell? Vargas pauses… “I’m not angry at him, it’s just frustration. You lose a competition, I’m OK with it, but an opportunity was stolen from me, to win by KO. But I am staying positive. I can come back stronger. I want to look forward, but I know that in a fight, every second counts.”

There was no technical dissection from Vargas on how he landed that right; more so, he told me it landed because of his intent, to land something nasty. “I knew the fight could go either way. I was looking for something crucial.”

Bradley in the ring after said he was open to a rematch, then at the presser changed his tune. What did Vargas think of that? “He said after I was a great champion. And then on the rematch, he gave me his word. At the presser he changes it…I hope he’s a man of honor!”

Vargas said he would soon be meeting with his team to discuss options for next. If he can’t get Bradley again, he isn’t into Plan B. “I’m focused on that. We filed a petition to the athletic commission,” he said, and his team also asked the WBO to weigh in and see it from the Vargas perspective.

Team Vargas contends that the rules call for a three minute round. The final round was cut short early, thus the rules were broken, thus a No Contest would be appropriate. They are hoping the Cali commission rules on the issue by the end of August and then maybe the WBO will note the decision, and if it is kind to Vargas, perhaps factor that it in, in regards to the WBO interim 140 crown Bradley snagged when his hand was raised.

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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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