Viva Mexico: Canelo Crushes Kirkland

By Robert Ecksel on May 9, 2015
Viva Mexico: Canelo Crushes Kirkland
Canelo played rope-a-dope while Kirkland channeled George Foreman. (Naoki Fukuda)

The fight was, as promised, an old-school Texas shootout. It looks like it’s High Noon again in Boxing…

HOUSTON, Texas—Saturday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, former WBA/WBC super welterweight champion Canelo Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs), the red-haired slugger from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, KO’d James Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs), aka the Mandingo Warrior, from Austin, Texas, at 2:19 of round three.

The fight was a wonderful war with generous portions of give-and-take by both men. It was also the perfect antidote to last week’s letdown of a superfight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

With the 30,000-plus in attendance cheering him on, Canelo, fighting out of the blue corner in black trunks with green and white trim, coolly studied his opponent before the opening bell. A ring veteran despite his tender age, he was determined to make a statement and at Kirkland’s expense.

Fighting out in the red corner in black trunks with red and silver, Kirkland, by contrast, was busy punching himself in the face. He was loosening up, getting ready, eager to search and destroy, unaware that Canelo, the coolest of cool customers in the opposite corner, was about to save him the trouble.

When the gong sounded to start the fight, Kirkland bolted from his corner looking for a knockout. He landed two short rights, followed by a straight right left. He was reaching the Mexican wunderkind. But Big Red landed a hook that stopped Kirkland in his tracks. Canelo landed an uppercut, the first of many, followed by a jab and straight right. Kirkland was wide open. A quick 1-2 by Canelo dropped Kirkland to the canvas at 1:15. He jumped to his feet, only to be greeted by another left hook and eight or nine unanswered punches. When Kirkland tried to counter the fire was gone. Canelo unloaded another uppercut at the bell to the end the first. Kirkland made it though the round, but just barely.

In round two, Canelo was on Kirkland like white is on rice. He was landing lefts and rights on an immobile target. Mandingo has heart to spare. Defense is another matter. Suddenly Kirkland landed a short left that drove Canelo to the ropes. The Austin native was unloading, but not only wasn’t he protecting himself at all times, he wasn’t protecting himself any of the time. Canelo came on at the end of the round. Kirkland was eating punches at the bell.

The third was Kirkland’s Waterloo. He was outworking Canelo at the beginning of the round. A looping left pushed Canelo to the ropes. He played rope-a-dope while Kirkland channeled George Foreman by throwing wide punches at a moving target. With Kirkland running out of steam, Canelo caught him with a body shot that drove him back to ring center. Then Kirkland walked into a right uppercut that put him down a second time. Again he got to his feet again, and again he got nailed again, this time with a picture-perfect right that knocked him cold.

The time of the stoppage was 2:19 of round three.

Canelo landed 87 total punches to Kirkland’s 42.  He landed 8 jabs to Kirkland’s 1. And in the power punch department, Canelo connected with 79 of 132 power punches thrown for 60 percent. Kirkland connected with 41 of 177 power punches thrown for 23 percent.

The fight was, as promised, an old-school Texas shootout.

It looks like it’s High Noon again in Boxing.

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Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland Highlights: HBO World Championship Boxing

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  1. bikermike 02:13pm, 05/13/2015


    ....look ....this is what Professional Boxing…at least to the fans that keep the engine’s need for fuel….
    We’ll pay to see two guys go at it….

    Kirkland was determined to show up and knock out his opponent…and was ripped…..He used all his skills and craftiness…landed what blows he could…and was out bested by an equally ruff tuff customer…

    No shame at all for Kirkland’s loss…he was magnificent !!

  2. bikermike 05:03am, 05/11/2015

    Max Kellerman is living proof that anal sex is dangerous !!

  3. bikermike 05:00am, 05/11/2015

    Great match up.  Great fight !
    ....what Laurena said !

  4. PhilipA 04:12pm, 05/10/2015

    Good fight, although this was a poor Kirkland, shouldn’t have changed trainers. Ann Wolfe looked broken. Kudos to Canelo, crisp and sharp combinations throughout.

    I believe that Max Kellerman has sold his soul to the devil

  5. Koolz 02:45pm, 05/10/2015

    well will Golden Boy let there “Golden Boy”, fight the Monster!! 
    Canelo can say yea I will fight anyone but will he fight Golovkin.
    Maybe next year.  Maybe not.
    Oscar de la Hoy says one thing and does another.

  6. Clarence George 01:18pm, 05/10/2015

    I agree.  I don’t think Ward should even consider it at this time, but maybe once he has three or four solid wins under his belt.

  7. Kid Blast 11:15am, 05/10/2015

    The only guy I see right now having a shot at beating GGG is Ward and that is staring to erode.

  8. Clarence George 09:43am, 05/10/2015

    It might happen, Eric, unlike either Cotto or Mayweather taking on the Kazakh.  I don’t see either one getting in the ring with Golovkin…and I can’t say I blame ‘em.

  9. Eric 09:25am, 05/10/2015

    Clarence….I agree. But I still wouldn’t mind seeing them fight down the road. Maybe a couple of years from now when GGG is 2 years older, and Canelo will be two years wiser, it might be more competitive.

  10. Alex 09:21am, 05/10/2015

    After the DANCE of the century on May 2, I really appreciate the effort of these two warriors. One of those rounds was more exciting than the whole show of May 2.

  11. Clarence George 08:58am, 05/10/2015

    Perhaps you disagree, Eric, but I don’t see Alvarez having much of a chance against Golovkin.

  12. Eric 08:02am, 05/10/2015

    Maybe it might be time for Canelo to make the move to 160.

  13. Clarence George 05:48am, 05/10/2015

    The pleasure’s all mine, Laurena, of course.  Regarding KB and Pete:  On the one hand, I fully concur with the private communication you sent me via scented email, that their rather awkward courtship rituals will shatter against the rock that is your complete lack of interest.  On the other hand, I don’t think that seeking an injunction against harassment is at all necessary.  Keep in mind that they don’t mean any harm and that Laurenas “are sometimes quick-tempered.”

  14. Galvar 05:15am, 05/10/2015

    Defending, Manny?  Max just stated facts.  Manny was injured, he was denied treatment at the “11th hour”, Manny fought with the injury.  Don’t see how that makes him a fan boy.  He never said “Manny would’ve won”.  Up until last night, I was bashing Manny along with the rest of the world but I thought back when I played sports and I played through injuries.  No dedicated athlete checks that “I’m injured box.”

  15. NYIrish 05:04am, 05/10/2015

    Exciting fight night in Houston. Kellerman needs a piss test.

  16. Laurena 04:46am, 05/10/2015

    Canelo was right there to see if Kirkland was OK once it was permissible- and asked him again after the fight. It’s very hard to believe he’s just a mere pup at 24 years of age. He shows such maturity as both a fighter and a man. Refreshing! And nice to see you Kid Blast, Clarence, and Pete.

  17. Clarence George 02:31am, 05/10/2015

    Didn’t see it, but I’m glad to hear it was a good fight, which is something of an oxymoron these days.

    I liked McDonnell-Kameda.  I would have given the win to “El Mexicanito,” but it was so close that it can hardly be considered a robbery.  Only saw the first few rounds of Figueroa-Burns.  Jeez, Laurence Cole.  Except for Figueroa-Arakawa, where he uncharacteristically minded his own business, he never fails to be godawful.

  18. Pete The Sneak 08:04pm, 05/09/2015

    Nice scrap…Kirkland showed some cojones after the first knockdown…These type fights are right up Canelos alley, but I’d take them anytime….Toro, have to agree with you. Hearing Kellerman defending Manny for being ‘injured’ was somewhat confusing to me as well, but then again, I’m not that smart…Peace.

  19. Kid Blast 07:30pm, 05/09/2015

    sorry for typos

  20. Kid Blast 07:29pm, 05/09/2015

    Laurena, Me too. This was not only met my expectations, it exceeded them.

  21. Kid Blast 07:28pm, 05/09/2015

    Holy moly. A Texas shootout. Canelo is also a great sportsman. Two very tough guys and quite possible the KO of the year and one of the more scary ones to boot. Kirkland did not even know he had been waxed. .. This fight took some of the foul taste of last week out of my mouth but it still lingers. Too bad Max had to interview Mandingo because Max was especially awful tonight. And when he defended an injured Pac-Man for “manning up” and fighting with the injury, I got very sick. Max is a fan boy with a mike and Is just plain horrible.

  22. Laurena 07:25pm, 05/09/2015

    Boy, did I need this! :-)

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