Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland return to the ring tonight for a pretty highly-anticipated junior middleweight showdown at Houston's Minute Maid Park, marking the first boxing event ever held at the home of the Houston Astros, with a big crowd expected live and on TV.
Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KO) is the favorite, but much of this fight's intrigue is in having no idea what version of Kirkland (32-1, 28 KO) will show up. If it's the relentless and ferocious power puncher, Canelo could have his hands full. But if Kirkland isn't prepared well -- he looked fit at the weigh-in, but he's working with an unknown trainer -- he could be in real trouble, and fast, against a puncher as precise as Canelo.
The show was originally set to be a doubleheader, with a great crossroads matchup between prospect Frankie Gomez and veteran Humberto Soto, but that was canceled yesterday when Gomez missed weight, pretty seriously upsetting his promoters at Golden Boy.
Canelo vs Kirkland Previews
The live fight will be preceded by a replay of last week's Mayweather-Pacquiao. I'm sure you're all dying to rewatch that fight and discuss it EVEN MORE!
Anyway, that should be done by 9:45 or so, and then the Canelo-Kirkland bout should be up shortly after if HBO and Golden Boy don't plug in a new co-feature. (Here's hoping for JoJo Diaz vs Giovanni Delgado!)
Join us tonight!
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Canelo Alvarez defeats James Kirkland by knockout (2:19 of round 3)
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ROUND BY ROUND
CANELO ALVAREZ vs JAMES KIRKLAND
Round 1: Well, here we go. Ref is Jon Schorle, who DQ'd Molina against Kirkland. Kirkland sticks in a little left and is moving forward like always. Canelo with a little right, but Kirkland is mauling at him. Wow, Kirkland is unloading shots with Canelo pinned on the ropes and in the corner. Canelo holds aggressively. Canelo with a left hook, and another. Right hand from Canelo. Kirkland may be hurt! Right hand Canelo! Left hook Canelo! Kirkland backing down now. Right hand down goes Kirkland! He's not in good shape, but he'll fight on. A minute left in the round. Body shot from Canelo, and he's throwing uppercuts and hammering away. Canelo's right just tattooing Kirkland. Uppercut, uppercut. Kirkland getting smashed now. Left hook, right hand, body shot and Kirkland is hurt badly again. That he's up is kind of amazing. Body shot, hook, hook, smashing combination with Kirkland on the ropes, and JK BARELY survives the round. Canelo 10-8
Round 2: This might not last much longer. Alvarez 38/68 in round 1, 36 power shots. Kirkland hurt again on a hook. Schorle taking a close look as Canelo beats the shit out of him on the ropes. Kirkland can't even throw back. Hook to the chin. Kirkland trying to throw back now. Uppercut wobbles Kirkland. Kirkland FIRING BACK! What the hell! Kirkland backing Canelo down and has him on the ropes. Canelo probably biding time, but who knows? Canelo firing back off the ropes, but Kirkland won't back down at all. Kirkland just popping away, Canelo with a body shot, then a right to the nose. Kirkland STILL COMING AT HIM! HOW!? HOW?! Kirkland with a left hand. Kirkland eats an uppercut and two HARD body shots. Uppercut again. Canelo takes the round, but he's looking a little tired. Kirkland may have taken the best he can give. Canelo 10-9, 20-17
Round 3: James Kirkland comes right at Canelo again. Canelo landing uppercuts, but Kirkland shooting to the body now and walks Canelo to the ropes again. Left hook Canelo, then one to the body. Kirkland smacks Canelo with a left hand against the ropes, Canelo ties him up. Canelo is tired. His legs don't look great. Kirkland just continues to pressure and tap away. OH! Left hook by Canelo, but Kirkland EATS IT AND WON'T BUDGE! Canelo with a right hand. Left and right. Kirkland getting tagged again. UPPERCUT AND DOWN GOES KIRKLAND! He's up and will fight on again. Canelo going for the finish. RIGHT HAND AND DOWN GOES JAMES KIRKLAND, IT IS OVER! BRUTAL KO! Canelo Alvarez KO-3