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Canelo: I like facing the fighters fans think I won’t fight

Canelo Alvarez James KirklandBy Dan Ambrose: Former WBA/WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) says he likes to face the fighters that boxing fans think he won’t fight. Presumably, this is why he’s fighting the ring rusty James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) next on May 9th, even though this isn’t a fight that fans are pushing Canelo to fight.

The fights that fans are pushing Canelo to fight is against WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and WBC 160 pound champion Miguel Cotto. Not too many boxing fans are really care about Canelo’s fight against Kirkland.

“I always like to fight the best fights,” Canelo said via “I like fighting the fights that people think I won’t. It satisfies me. James Kirkland is one of the most dangerous fighters in the weight division. Plus, our styles are going to clash to make a good fight. I want the tickets to be affordable to my fans.”

Canelo will be fighting Kirkland at the Minute Maid Park, in Houston, Texas, USA.

When Canelo says he always fights the fights people think he won’t, he’s talking about guys like Floyd Mayweather Jr, Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout.

Canelo appeared to lose two out of those three fights, with one of them being a draw. Canelo was beaten by Mayweather, given a controversial win over Lara and he received a controversial win over Trout, which many boxing fans felt was either a loss for Canelo or a draw. He spent the last six rounds of the Trout fight with his back against the ropes.

I don’t agree that Canelo always fights the guys that the boxing fans want him to. If that were true, he’d have fought Golovkin already. Canelo has no excuses for not fighting Golovkin, because both guys weight in the low to mid-170s after they rehydrate for their fights.

The difference is Canelo fights welterweights and junior middleweights, while Golovkin faces middleweights. Golovkin doesn’t want to melt down from the low 170s to fight at 154 to have an advantage over welterweights and junior middleweights. Golovkin instead prefers to face guys in his own weight class.

For Canelo to say he’s fighting the guys that boxing fans don’t think he’ll fight, then he has to get in the ring with Golovkin, because this is a guy that fans clearly think Canelo won’t fight. Many boxing fans think Canelo is afraid to fight Golovkin for fear of taking a beating and getting knocked out.

There’s a big difference from Canelo fighting the likes of Kirkland, Mayweather, Trout and Lara, than there is to be in the ring with Golovkin. Against those other fighters, Canelo was the bigger puncher and able to back them up much of the time.

Against Golovkin, Canelo will be the one who will find himself getting backed up and bombarded all night. If Canelo is stubborn and tries to come at Golovkin, then the fight will likely end very early with Canelo getting knocked out. Of course, if Canelo continues to not fight Golovkin, then he can spare himself from the embarrassment of losing to him by a knockout.

There’s really no risk for Canelo in fighting guys like Kirkland, because this is a guy who hasn’t fought in close to a year and a half, and he also is a fighter who was knocked out in one round by Golovkin knockout victim Nobuhiro Ishida in 2011. Where’s the gain in Canelo fighting a guy who was knocked down three times in the process of being knocked out in the 1st round by Ishida? Golovkin knocked Ishida out in just 3 rounds in their fight in 2013.

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