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Canelo Alvarez’s next fight this Saturday against Kirkland

canelo4566By Dan Ambrose: Mexicao’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) will be fighting this Saturday night on May 9th on HBO Championship Boxing against James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) at the Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.

This is a fight that Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya is hoping the 24-year-old Canelo will look good against because he plans on having Canelo’s next fight on pay-per-view in likely September against WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto.

This means that the red-haired Canelo can’t have any slip ups in this fight because he stands to lose a lot of money if he gets beaten by Kirkland. I’m sure De La Hoya will still look to make the Canelo-Cotto fight next even if Canelo loses to Kirkland, but it’ going to make it a lot tougher to justify asking boxing fans to pay to see it on HBO pay-per-view. De La Hoya can’t keep pushing Canelo forward after his poor performances. We saw that recently with Canelo getting a controversial 12 round decision over Erislandy Lara last year in July.

While many boxing fans saw the fight as a draw, De La Hoya and Canelo felt that it was a wide enough decision win for them to move on rather than take a second chance against the Cuban star. But if Canelo does lose to Kirkland, he’s going to need to look good enough to get fans interested in watching him fight Cotto near the end of the year.

At this rate we could see Canelo become the next Marcos Maidana rather than the next superstar that will carry PPV boxing events for the next decade like De La Hoya sees him being. Canelo was badly exposed by Floyd Mayweather, and he looked just as bad against Lara and Austin Trout without showing any outward improvement in his game.

Kirkland hasn’t done much with his career in the last six years due to a variety of reasons, but he still has good punching power. He appears to have lost a lot of hand speed as he’s aged, and he doesn’t seem to have the same stamina that he once had. But Kirkland could give Canelo some problems if he can get Canelo into a war earlier in the fight so that he can put hands on him. We don’t really know how good Canelo’s chin is because he’s not been facing guys with power during his career. Canelo’s fight against Alfredo Angulo in March of last year was a case of Canelo fighting a guy who had taken off a great deal of weight in a short period of time, leaving Angulo weight drained and not as powerful as he usually is.

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