Canelo needs to look good against Kirkland
By Dan Ambrose: With all the attention that has been put on the May 2nd Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Manny Pacquiao mega-clash in Las Vegas, Nevada, former WBA/WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s fight against the ring-rusty James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) on May 9th has been pretty much forgotten about.
Part of the problem is the fact that it’s not a great fight to begin win. Kirkland had some popularity going for him six years ago before his prison stint for a weapon’s violation, he’s not been an active fighter in recent years, and he’s still fighting the same low level opposition that he was when he first turned pro 14 years ago in 2001.
It’s hard to believe that Kirkland has been a pro for 14 years because he’s accomplished so little with his career. Why he was picked out by Canelo’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya is unclear. The only thing you can think of is that De La Hoya is going to match Canelo up against any fighter that is recognizable to the casual boxing fans. The problem Kirkland is his notoriety came years ago, and he’s done absolutely nothing to progress as a fighter.
Canelo needs to look good in this fight in order to attract attention to his proposed fight against WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto next September. I
It’ll look bad if Canelo struggles to beat Kirkland, or if he loses to him. You have to give Canelo a great chance of beating Kirkland because Kirkland hasn’t fought in a year and a half since 2013, and he’s had to take off a lot of weight during training for this fight. It would have been nice if De La Hoya had selected someone active and in shape for Canelo to fight, but it just looks like he doesn’t want to take any chances with him getting beaten again before he gets the big money match-up against Cotto. Canelo almost lost his last fight against Erislandy Lara last year in July. Canelo would have lost the fight if Lara had stood his ground more often in the fight instead of using a lot of movement.
Kirkland showed good power in his last fight against Glen Tapia. But since that fight was so long ago, it’s probable that Kirkland won’t be able to fight hard for more than two or three rounds before he gasses out against Canelo. That’s why it’s likely that Canelo will be fighting cautiously in the first quarter of the fight when Kirkland is at his peak. Once Kirkland starts to tire, you can bet that Canelo will go after him and look to take him out with some big shots.
The Kirkland-Canelo fight will be televised on HBO Championship Boxing from the Minute Maid Park, in Houston, Texas, USA. The location of the fight will take advantage of Kirkland’s fans, as he’s from Texas. It will also take advantage of the large Mexican population in the state, many of which are huge fans of Canelo.
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