De La Hoya on Canelo vs. Kirkland

By Gordon Marino on April 21, 2015
De La Hoya on Canelo vs. Kirkland
Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland fight on May 9th at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX.

“Yes, Canelo is faster and a better boxer but anything can happen when you have a puncher like Kirkland in front of you…”

I caught up with Oscar De La Hoya today and pressed him about the Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland fight on May 9th at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. Oscar watched Alvarez work out earlier in the week and liked what he saw. “Canelo is looking faster and stronger,” he said. “He is in great condition. He is throwing more combinations.”

Alvarez has not fought since his controversial split decision victory over Erislandy Lara in July 2014. Canelo had a cyst removed on his ankle that had been giving him trouble. De La Hoya noted, “I think the rest did him good. He seems refreshed.” Asked if the ankle problem might have impeded Canelo’s lateral movement, De La Hoya responded, “Absolutely.”

In order for Alvarez to achieve the fistic immortality that he aspires too, he needs to be able to master the pure boxers like Lara. So why a stationary target like Kirkland?

Part of the answer, “It’s the economy stupid,” said De La Hoya. “We have already sold 30,000 tickets for the fight.” But he added, “Look, Kirkland is a great puncher. Yes, Canelo is faster and a better boxer but anything can happen when you have a puncher like Kirkland in front of you. Especially one who is determined and can take a punch like Kirkland. The fans are going to love it. It is going to be a shootout.” 

A professor of philosophy at St. Olaf College, Gordon Marino writes on boxing for the Wall Street Journal. He is on the board and works with boxers at the Circle of Discipline in Minneapolis, as well as at the Basement Gym in Northfield, MN. His The Quotable Kierkegaard was recently published by Princeton University Press. You can follow him on Twitter at @GordonMarino.

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  1. Kid Blast 05:30pm, 04/21/2015

    FD, I hope you are right but without Ann in his corner, he will look like Alvarado did against Rios in their third fight. I think Irish has the beat to wit: A quick KO win for the red head probably coming from a left hook.

  2. Dave Van Deusen 05:01pm, 04/21/2015

    If Kirkland was still with Ann Wolfe, and recognizing that the betting odds are way against him, I would be tempted to put a hundred down on him for a surprise KO win. But without Wolfe… I ain’t putting any cash on that upset. Even so, Kirkland is great to watch and anything can happen. If/when he gets into his rhythm, he is a fucking monster! But hell, I like Canelo too. I am just hoping for a badass fight (and suspect we will get one)!

  3. FrankinDallas 04:23pm, 04/21/2015

    The Mandingo Warrior will SHOCK the world with a 6th round
    KO delivered on Mr Alvarez.

  4. Koolz 03:29pm, 04/21/2015

    Oscar De La Hoya Another idiot boxing promoter.
    Kirkland hasn’t fought in two years!  He will be weight drained to fight Canelo.
    I mean this joke fight to me.
    Canelo just wants to fight Cotto for that belt and Kirkland is a way to get there.

  5. Eric 02:13pm, 04/21/2015

    This fight really intrigues me. This is a great looking matchup. Never know how some of these bouts can turn out. You would have thought that Chuvalo vs. Bonavena would have been a war, but it was downright boring. I find this matchup more appealing than the Pac vs. Mayweather bout. I’ll pick the Irish Mexican kid.

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:01pm, 04/21/2015

    Gordon Marino-Oscar says Kirkland can take a punch….not so much in the first round though…..he’s been knocked down five times in the first round by three different fighters. I’m betting the redhead from Jalisco gets him out of there in under three minutes.

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