Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting via Twitter that James Kirkland has re-injured his shoulder and his September 15 pay-per-view bout with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez has been canceled. The injury was confirmed with Kirkland's manager who also said that James was set to make three million dollars from the fight.
Kirkland was interviewed last night and was asked about the shoulder and said that he felt fine and healthy, but this morning it appears there was an issue in camp and the bout is off.
James' camp originally turned down the bout, wanting to have a bit more time to rehab the shoulder after surgery and then take on a bit of an "easier" opponent just to get a feel for how his body would feel in the ring. That led to Paul Williams getting the fight. Tragedy struck when Williams was in a motorcycle accident and was paralyzed, leading to Kirkland getting the call again, and accepting this time around.
With the two "best" options as far as being a step up for Canelo and intriguing personalities out in Williams and Kirkland, the attention turns to a few other names in an attempt to make the best of a rather disappointing situation.
Austin Trout and Delvin Rodriguez meet on tomorrow night's jam-packed Showtime card and the winner of that fight (which is a battle of top ten opponents) would make a decent choice.
Erislandy Lara is a great opponent for Canelo, but lacking in name value and could be considered maybe too "difficult" of a foe for the rising Mexican superstar.
Carlos Molina is like Lara, but less exciting to watch and with even less name value, so I assume we can dismiss him. Let's remember that this is an attempt to build up the Alvarez brand, which means getting people to tune in and want to buy his next PPV as well. A bad fight against a tricky foe isn't good business.
There's also Vanes Martirosyan, but he has no name value and has no wins that really are deserving of getting the shot.
Then there's always the dream situation where Golden Boy decides to throw Victor Ortiz in with Canelo in what would be a huge fight, but far too dangerous for Canelo and overall bad for "long term promotional business." But hey, a guy can dream, right?