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Canelo Reflects On HBO Signing, One Year In

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BOXING SUPERSTAR CANELO ÁLVAREZ REFLECTS ON

THE ROAD TO HBO ON THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY

OF HIS EXCLUSIVE DEAL WITH THE NETWORK

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 24, 2015)-It was one year ago that Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya, HBO Sports President Ken Hershman, and Mexican superstar boxer Canelo Álvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) hosted a press conference in Los Angeles to announce a major new agreement granting HBO Sports exclusive rights to televise Canelo’s fights in the U.S.

Canelo’s road to HBO was paved by his perseverance and desire to become one of boxing’s best. He has never shied away from fighting the toughest fighters in his quest for greatness, earning the respect of fans, media, and even his rivals. On May 9, 2015, Canelo made his first appearance on HBO Sports since announcing his exclusive deal with the network and secured an impressive victory over the dangerous James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland before a crowd of more than 31,000 screaming fans at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Canelo vs. Kirkland registered the highest viewership for an HBO World Championship Boxing event since 2006 generating an average of 2.1 million views for the live airing of the event.

“I am pleased to celebrate my first anniversary with HBO. HBO is my family, and I am glad to be home. Together, we will continue to make history. I look forward to celebrating many anniversaries together with all my family members at Golden Boy Promotions and HBO. I will continue producing the best possible fights for my fans and will blindly dedicate myself to my best performances every time,” Canelo Álvarez said.

“The fans absolutely love Canelo. They are loyal and are the most passionate fans of any fighter in the sport of boxing today. Canelo’s exciting fighting style keeps them coming back, and he works hard to not let them down, both inside and outside of the ring. HBO is the best network for boxing, hands down, so I knew it would be the right home for Canelo and the best way for his fans to see him in action,” said Oscar De La Hoya.

“HBO Sports is thrilled to be the U.S. television home of Canelo Alvarez,” said Ken Hershman, President of HBO Sports. “He is one of the sport’s brightest superstars and our platform is ideally suited to maximize all of his goals and dreams. At only 25 years old he has so many incredibly exciting chapters ahead of him. We at HBO are looking forward to being an integral part of what will be a historic career.”

Canelo is a knockout artist known for his tremendous power and durability against the toughest opponents in the ring who made his professional debut at 15-years-old and quickly became one of the most popular fighters in the sport. His fan base spread quickly in his home country of Mexico as his style captured and enthralled fans. His fan base exploded, crossing the border in to the U.S. and ultimately spreading around the world. Canelo’s good looks and charisma outside the ring attracted a legion of fans from around the world rooting for him every step of the way on his journey to the top.

A former world champion, Canelo is eager to once again hold a title and will get the opportunity again on Saturday, Nov. 21 when he faces reigning WBC, Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight World Champion Miguel Cotto in a classic Mexico vs. Puerto Rico rivalry battle. The event will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View. The epic battle is being called by many the most anticipated fight of 2015 and will also mark Canelo’s first Pay-Per-View appearance since his exclusive agreement with HBO.

For Canelo, this is still only the beginning. The way he sees it, the best is yet to come and the fans will be able to watch him every step of the way on HBO.

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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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