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Zenunaj, Rolls and Baranchyk All Impress With Knockouts

At Bayou City Event Center In Houston;

Heavyweight Challenger Artur Szpilka Interviewed During Telecast

Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

HOUSTON (Dec. 12, 2015) – Regis Prograis dominated previously undefeated Abel Ramos en route to a ninth-round TKO in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME on Friday at Bayou City Event Center in Houston.

Prograis (16-0, 13 KOs) was connecting at a more than 5-1 rate the last three rounds of the fight before Ramos’ corner asked referee Laurence Cole to stop the fight.

With the loss – and the previous results in the quadrupleheader – Ramos became the 139th fighter to suffer his first loss on the prospect developmental series.

Prograis was the more aggressive and effective fighter from the outset. He landed 53 percent of his power shots compared to just 28 percent for Ramos while throwing more than 250 more total punches.

Ramos (14-1-2, 9 KOs) simply couldn’t deal with Prograis’ speed and movement. At the finish, he was a bloody mess from a cut around his left eye and a gash on the top of his head and had no answer for the onslaught of punches from his undefeated opponent.

“It was an incredible fight,” Prograis said. “It was really, really tough and I didn’t think I was going to stop him, but I did. We stuck to the game plan and I am happy.

“He was really messed up. I don’t like to talk bad about my opponents, but I definitely hurt him and think that maybe they should’ve stopped it earlier. You never want to hurt anybody that bad where it can affect them in the long run.”

After the fight, Ramos complained that he wasn’t the same after the accidental head butt in the fifth that opened the gushing cut on the top of his head.

Late-replacement Dardan Zenunaj handed previously unbeaten lightweight prospect Bryant Cruz the first loss of his career after Cruz’ trainer Ronnie Shields called an end to the fight after the seventh round. Zenunaj was ahead 67-64 on the three judges’ scorecards after the seventh.

Cruz was the more active fighter, throwing 754 punches through seven rounds compared to just 555 for Zenunaj, but it was clear that Zenunaj was landing the more powerful shots.

Zenunaj (11-1, 9 KOs) knocked Cruz down midway through the fourth with a wide left hook. Cruz survived the round, but continued to eat a series of big shots to close the round. Cruz bounced back but couldn’t keep Zenunaj from picking his shots and landing damaging power punches. Zenunaj floored Cruz again with another strong blow in the final seconds of the seventh, Cruz beat the count, but Shields had seen enough and halted the fight when Cruz (16-1, 8 KOs) returned to the corner.

Zenunaj out-landed Cruz 40-24 in the seventh, the only time in the fight that he out-threw and out-landed Cruz.

“I wanted it to be a war for all of the people watching and I did it, so I’m feeling really good,” Zenunaj said. “He is really good, much stronger than I believed he would be. He hung in there, but I did the work and I won.

“Today was my first fight in the U.S. and it won’t be the last. Next year is going to be a big year for me.”

After the fight, Cruz didn’t make any excuses for the disappointing performance.

“I came in really confident that I was going to win. I had almost seven weeks of training and this guy took the fight on a week’s notice.

“I came in thinking I was going to win, but it didn’t go my way. He was a tough opponent. He came forward and hit me with some really awkward shots. He’s an awkward fighter and he hit me with different angles I hadn’t seen before. He caught me by surprise, but that’s the way that boxing is so I can’t really be too upset with myself by this loss. I will come back stronger.

“I did everything I could and gave it my all. I tried to listen to the punch list from my coach, but he just out-hustled me and I give him all the respect for that.”?

In a matchup of middleweight prospects, Steve Rolls scored an impressive fourth round TKO over previously undefeatedSteed Woodall. VIDEO HIGHLIGHT:


After two close rounds, Woodall knocked Rolls down midway through the third. While Rolls complained it was a slip, Woodall came out blazing after the count and legitimately hurt Rolls in the final minute of the round. Rolls (13-0, 7 KOs) came back with a vengeance in the fourth, landing nearly a dozen big right hands. With Woodall wobbling around the ring with his guard down, referee Laurence Cole stepped in to halt the contest at 2:46 of the round.

“I was prepared to do what I came here to do,” said Rolls, who landed 41 percent of his power shots. “I didn’t agree with the knockdown, but that’s the nature of boxing. That kind of stuff is going to happen and you just need to pick yourself up, collect yourself and fight on.

“I’m going to rest a bit and really just soak it in and relax.”

Woodall (8-1-1, 5 KOs) complained that the stoppage was premature.

“I didn’t agree with the stoppage,” Woodall said. “I was caught on my ear so that threw off my balance a little bit, but I was totally fine. I’m wise enough to take a knee if I wasn’t able to continue, but that wasn’t the case. I definitely feel that was a premature stoppage but I’m not a sore loser.

“Now it’s back to the drawing board. I need to sit down with my manager and get back to training camp. I know it’s soon to say this after the fact, but I’ll definitely be looking for the rematch at some point. But, for now, it’s back to the drawing board.”

In the opening bout of the telecast, Ivan Baranchyk (9-0, 8 KOs) knocked out previously undefeated Shadi Shawareb (9-1-2, 5 KOs) with a steady diet of power shots at 2:28 of the first round.

Polish southpaw Artur Szpilka was interviewed by ShoBox expert analyst Steve Farhood during Friday’s telecast as he prepares to challenge undefeated WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder on Saturday, Jan. 16 on SHOWTIME. During the interview, Szpilka warned Wilder that he’s coming to take his belt:

“Artur Szpilka is future heavyweight champion, future Polish champion and a wonderful person. I can’t wait, man. I can’t wait.

“I was so excited. When I was very young I dreamed that one day I would be champion, and now I have that opportunity. Thank you to the champ for giving me the chance. But you don’t see what you’re doing. This is no joke. This is no (expletive) joke.

“This is very important for Polish fans. This is when I change my story, change my life, change what people think about Polish people here. Polish people have heart, we have everything. And now I must show everyone what I want. I am so confident, you will see. I can’t wait.

“Listen, I don’t care what everyone thinks. I care what my team thinks. I care what my family, my people think.

“I’m going to kick his ass. Remember, champ, I’m going to kick your ass. Happy Holidays, champ. Do not sleep.”

The ShoBox quadrupleheader will re-air on Monday, Dec. 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® beginning Saturday, Dec. 12

Barry Tompkins called the ShoBox action from ringside with Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer was Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.



2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura




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




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




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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