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Canelo vs Kirkland: Fight poster for May 9 HBO showdown

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Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland are -- knock on wood -- set for a big May fight.

Canelo Alvarez will be back in action on May 9, when he faces James Kirkland at Houston's Minute Maid Park, the first-ever boxing event at the home of the Houston Astros, live on HBO. Originally targeted for May 2, Canelo-Kirkland was pushed back a week to accommodate the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight, which took that date and will be produced by both HBO and Showtime on pay-per-view.

Here's the fight poster for Canelo-Kirkland:

canelo kirkland poster

A fine, classic style poster, really -- modern classic style, at least. I always like the seriousness of a black/white/red font scheme, and the Mexican and American flags add some traditional "national pride" aspects.

Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KO) will be coming into this fight on a 10-month absence, the longest of his career by far. He last fought in July 2014, beating Erislandy Lara in a competitive decision on Showtime PPV. He was scheduled to make his return to HBO in early December, but a fight with Joshua Clottey fell through. After many weeks of negotiations, a potential blockbuster affair against Miguel Cotto for May also fell apart, and Kirkland was quickly drafted in to face the Mexican superstar.

Kirkland (32-1, 28 KO) is one of the most exciting and volatile fighters in the sport, and didn't fight at all in 2014. He last was seen in December 2013, beating Glen Tapia in a brutal fight on HBO. Kirkland, who turns 31 in March, has had outside the ring issues, including multiple stints in prison, and several problems with promoters, too. He was formerly signed to Golden Boy, who will promote this fight, but had an acrimonious split with them. He was near a deal to fight Alvarez in 2012 when the relationship there went to pieces.