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Kovalev Mauls Campillo on NBC Fight Night

Kelsey McCarson

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Kovalev Mauls Campillo

Kovalev Mauls Campillo – Rising light heavyweight prospect Sergey “The Crusher” Kovalev (20-0-1, 18 KOs) destroyed veteran Gabriel Campillo (21-5, 8 KOs) in just three rounds Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. The bout was the main event of NBC Sports Network’s televised Fight Night card.

Kovalev was the aggressor right from the beginning. He stalked Campillo around the ring and let his hands go whenever he got him in the corner or on the ropes, which was just too much for Campillo’s liking. The usually slick southpaw did his best to try and make Kovalev miss, but the latter’s volume was just too much. Kovalev used a stiff jab in the second and alternated moving backward and forwards with equal success. Campillo did his best to establish his jab, but Kovalev landed hard shots upstairs and down to get the better of it.

Kovalev poured it on in the third and battered Campillo with a sharp right hand to the post and down to his knees. Campillo beat the count but was then pummeled back to the other side of the ring before Kovalev landed the finishing shot, another hard right hand which sent Campillo down and out for good. The fight was officially halted at 1:30 or round three by referee Michael Ortega.

Compubox numbers showed Kovalev landed 55 power punches to just 4 for Campillo while also outlanding him overall 77 to 13.

“I see just a target,” Kovalev said as he described his dominant win via big screen replay to Chris Mannix. Kovalev said he is eager to fight “any champion” next, and mentioned Tavoris Cloud, Bernard Hopkins and Nathan Cleverly by name.

In the co-main event, middleweight Curtis Stevens (23-3, 17 KOs) knocked out Elvin Ayala (26-6-1, 12 KOs) in the very first round. It was a jabbing contest early. Stevens seemed to have had enough of it after only half a round and stepped things up from there. Both fighters seemed willing enough to close the distance, but it was Stevens who closed the show. As Ayala tried to match his opponent’s aggression, he was promptly floored by a crushing counter left hook. Ayala got to his feet but was visibly shaken. Stevens could see it, and he leapt in quickly after Ayala had risen against the count to finish him. Stevens pounded his opponent up against ropes before dropping him again in mere seconds to seal the win. The bout was stopped at 1:10, after which there was a bit of a ruckus as an overzealous ringside fan hopped into the ring to spring upon Stevens back in jubilation as he climbed up the corner ropes to celebrate. The man was quickly pried away from his conquering hero and after a bit of a melee, order was restored.

Because of the quick KO, middleweight swing bouters Jimmy Williams (1-0, 1 KO) and Noel Garcia (2-17, 2 KOs) were called upon to entertain the television audience in a scheduled four-rounder. Garcia was fighting well above his natural weight. Most of his previous bouts were fought at a welter. The taller and naturally larger Williams established his jab and long right hand early. The fight was fought at that distance until Garcia realized he’d have no chance at earning a win with that approach, so the shorter, stockier fighter went into tough guy mode and began trying to make it a brawl. Williams used the newfound aggression against his opponent and scored a knockdown in the third. The game Garcia dusted himself off and finished out the round. Williams ended the fight in the next round with a brutal left hook that left Garcia down and out in the corner. The referee immediately called for the end when he hit the floor. He was out. He made it to his feet after the bell sounded, though, and was seen laughing and hugging the victor, Williams, as the announcer read the particulars.

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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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