Kirkland: I know Canelo’s style, I feel like I can beat him!
(Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions) By Dan Ambrose: American slugger James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) feels confident that he can beat the red-haired former WBA/WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) in their fight next month on May 9th at the Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
Kirkland, 30, says he’s studied the fighting style of the 24-year-old Canelo, and he feels he can defeat his style of fighting. Kirkland is ready slug with Canelo if that’s the type of fight that he’ll be looking to bring on May 9th.
Kirkland is looking forward to this fight because he sees Canelo as someone that he can definitely beat.
“I want to fight Canelo because I know his style. You see something, you analyze it, and I feel like I can beat him,” Kirkland said. “I know Canelo is going to put in the work on fight night. I want to be a step ahead of him, so if he comes to box or comes for a slug fest, I will be ready.”
Canelo is obviously going to be looking to slug against Kirkland because that’s what Canelo always does. But I do think he’s going to try and use his speed to out-box Kirkland.
Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy Promotions likely only picked Kirkland out because of him being a recognizable fighter from the past, and because of his long period of inactivity. By getting a rusty fighter like Kirkland, Golden Boy’s chances of Canelo winning the fight goes up.
It’s interesting that Canelo is being matched up against fighters from the past rather than relevant fighters. Last December, Golden Boy Promotions were looking to match Canelo against the 35-year-old Joshua Clottey. The only reason the Canelo vs. Clottey fight didn’t take place was due to Canelo suffering an ankle injury.
“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for and overall I am happy,” Kirkland said. “I feel blessed, and I am going to go out there and make history happen.”
If Kirkland’s sometimes fragile can hold together for this fight in the early going, I think Kirkland has a decent chance of pulling off an upset. But I think Kirkland is going to need to knock Canelo out for him to get a victory on May 9th, because I just don’t see Kirkland being given a decision win over the much more popular Canelo.
The boxing fans at the Minute Maid park will be cheering for Canelo the entire fight no matter what he does, and I can’t see the judges giving the victory to Kirkland no matter what he does. I see Canelo getting a decision regardless.
It sounds like Kirkland plans on gunning for a knockout in this fight. That’s a smart thing to do because the last thing he needs is to find himself on the losing end of a controversial decision like Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara did in their fights with Caenlo.
Canelo will definitely try to slug with Kirkland initially, but if he tastes some of Kirkland’s big shots, I can see Canelo retreating to the ropes and staying there for the entire fight like he did against Trout after getting hurt by one of his body shots.
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