Canelo vs Kirkland: James Kirkland Ready, Says Canelo Will Need to Be Better

Canelo Alvarez looks as though he'll be facing James Kirkland next, and Kirkland is already talking the fight up. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

With the news that a September 15 fight between Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland is looking likely, Kirkland says that he's ready for the challenge as he recovers from shoulder surgery, and that the 21-year-old Alvarez will need to bring more to that fight than he did in his win over Shane Mosley on May 5.

While Kirkland gave praise to Alvarez's win over Mosley, he says he'll be a whole different sort of test for the young Mexican superstar.

"I know one thing, when it comes to fighting a James Kirkland - what he brought to the table [against Mosley] - he's got to put on a lot more [for me]. Because I'm strictly a 100% fighter. They just know what they are getting themselves into when they step in the ring with Kirkland."

It seems a little strange for a guy whose best unquestioned win is against Alfredo Angulo to talk about himself in the third person, but hey, that's boxing, I guess.

Personally, I think the fight shapes up as a tough go for Kirkland, not Alvarez. It's not that Kirkland can't fight. He can. But he can't box, and Alvarez can do both. Again, we've seen what an accurate, pop-less puncher like Nobuhiro Ishida can do to Kirkland. I think that was fluky, but jeez, you know? Alvarez hits a good deal harder than Ishida, and even though he's washed up, Shane Mosley's chin is still a lot better than Kirkland's.

I like this fight a lot -- Kirkland has issues, but is a legit, young contender. I favor Canelo big time, though. I still feel like some folks are overlooking him, and I expect to hear about how Kirkland will knock the fraud out and all that, but I keep hearing that and no one is coming close to backing up those words.

I hope we find out, though. Canelo is locked into that date on September 15 at the MGM Grand, so it has to be a real opponent, especially considering Golden Boy knows they can make money on PPV with him, meaning this will be on PPV and so will probably all of his fights going forward. You don't have to be a PPV superstar like Floyd or Manny to be a regular PPV guy, just enough to make a profit. Canelo has that covered. Whether it's good for his U.S. exposure long-term is another question, but long-term isn't a question often given serious consideration in boxing.

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