Tag Archives: james kirkland

CC Your Buds~Canelo vs Cotto Is ON!

Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas will be exploding come Saturday, November 21st when Saul Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Angel Cotto renew the historical Mexican vs Puerto Rican family feud with a real fight, can you believe it, a real fight in America? Who’d have ever thunk it in this faint hearted day and age of posers, duckers, and bawling punch monkey darlings? Could even be a fight for the ages, but at very least we know from their pedigrees it’ll be good as long as it lasts.

The new promotional kid on the block, Roc Nation, and Golden Boy will share promotional honors after a heart stopping, grueling set of negotiations with Cotto who has lately become something  diva, one of the concessions needed being the 155-pound catchweight. Up for grabs will be Cotto’s Ring Belt and the WBC middleweight belt that he is reported as earning $30 million to defend compared to Canelo’s $10 million. I would have thought the purses would be roughly even after their similar recent PPV numbers, but such is another huge concession that Canelo takes for the opportunity of a lifetime.

Canelo Pounds Kirkland

Canelo Pounds Kirkland

Luckily Canelo has been well priming himself for this big bout at 155 with his last three outings at the weight where he did quite well for himself, knocking the doggie biscuits out of Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland and forcing Erislandy Lara into a shameless run, shuck, and jive for survival.

Meanwhile, Cotto hasn’t been doing too shabby himself with conclusive knockouts of Sergio Martinez and Daniel Geale. Why he insisted on a silly 159lb catchweight against Martinez? Because he can call more shots at this stage of his career. In making the Geale fight at 157lb, now I could understand as that’s a sweet three pounds under the middleweight limit, but I don’t think those catchweights affected the results anymore than this one at 155lbs will. However, if the winner tries to make Gennady Golovkin make 155, that could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Cotto might try for that kind of fight, but I think Canelo is ready to move up permanently to the full 160 where he obviously belongs if he wins this, but their futures are not ours to see. First things first.

Cotto Pounds Money

Cotto Pounds Money

In a bad sign of the declining times for Andre Ward, amazingly only 31 years of age and wasting his career away, he is supposed to be fighting another light heavyweight type opponent. Ahh, ha you say, another TBA sacrificial lamb for the needy Ward is it again? Yup, dragged him all the way kicking and screaming out of Oakland they did for this. He can’t even make the cut for the main supporting bout of the night anymore, just pitiful. His heart must be buried in that big load sagging his shorts for this farce, but it’s his career to fritter away, so be it.

Oh, yes and oh, no, so now he can’t even glove it up for his TBA after having a knee problem, so looks like Mr. TBA will just have to wait until 2016 to find Ward in a ring…maybe. What a loss to TBA boxing!

So enter yet another faint hearted P4P poser added to the undercard, Guillermo Rigondeaux , reportedly fighting a last minute TBA, Drian Francisco. World P4P rated by Haymon/Golden Boy News of the Ring Word and still fighting TBAs is it? Such is the fainthearted nature of boxing these days.

As to the otherworldly compelling main event, I strongly favor Canelo. Cotto’s older brother, also named Miguel, managed to rock the teenaged Canelo, slumping him for maybe a second before he recovered quickly to blast the senior Cotto to smithereens shortly thereafter, so could be Cotto has some younger brother payback working here his motivation. Even in his losses, nobody ever had an easy time against Cotto who has added significant caginess to his game to compensate for his fall from the absolute top of his prime. Problem being that Canelo is immensely stronger and even more experienced than Cotto by now, yet still very young and fresh. Simply put, he’s never been beat up. However, trying to walk through Cotto from the gitgo may well be the equivalent of trying to walk through a truck, so I expect Canelo to take his time warming into the fight as a boxer as does Cotto. Then all Hell gets unleashed for the finale.

Yes Sir, Freddie Roach has got Cotto boxing smarter than ever, and Canelo is a high level boxer, so this should be a traditional, high level stakes, aggressive, ring centered boxing display with plenty of applied hurt and heart. Neither comes out completely unscathed in this one, yet the fans may count themselves lucky to remember where they were on this monumental night if the fight is as good as is hoped.

 

Canelo Says James Kirkland Is It.

A HUGE fight for Mexican and American boxing when Saul Canelo Alvarez takes on James Mandingo Warrior Kirkland May 9th at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Tex, home of the Astros. The park has a retractable roof, so it may or may not be “outdoors” depending on the weather, but with an expected full house of over 40,000 fans, for sure it’s the kind of fresh, mega event that boxing desperately needs.

Canelo vs Mandingo Warrior

Canelo vs Mandingo Warrior

In a sad note for US boxing, it will be the non-Mexican looking Mexican Saul “Canelo” Alvarez who is the star and the fight favorite, not to mention the screaming favorite of  the predominate Mexican heritage fans in attendance. The puzzled 31 year old Kirkland will be the more powerful, aggressive fighter looking to put even more screams on young Canelo and his fans as his formidable 32-1, 28 KO record suggests. He was offered this fight back in 2013, but priced himself out with an outrageous $3 million purse demand, ultimately being bounced out of Golden Boy Promotions for his insolence. He will be making considerably less than his previous expectations, that is a certainty, but this fight is for more than just money now.

Kirkland originally started his career as a young, irresistible, knockout phenom and was quickly snatched up by Golden Boy who did a great job with his development. Unfortunately Kirkland repeatedly ran afoul of the law and served time on 2 separate occasions which greatly infringed on that development. He skipped last year, 2014, entirely, apparently upset over piddling fights and purses offered to him by his new promoter and Floyd Mayweather rival, 50 cent. Now he’ll need to knock off ring rust with his work cut out for him to win this bout since the amazingly young 24 year old Canelo is more skilled and experienced. He may also possess as much power as Kirkland, in short a bad set of counter combinations coming the defensively lax Kirkland’s way.

The fight will be held at a 155 lb contract weight that both will seriously struggle to make. Canelo looked half dried out, dead and buried, turning a scary hue of blue at his 152 lb catchweight weighin against Floyd Mayweather. He’s since been trying to hang on to the fringes of the 154 division in a series of 155 lb catchweight bouts just in case Mayweather comes calling again this year. Canelo was also willing to fight new 160 lb champ Miguel Cotto with a signed contract earlier this year, but Cotto was too busy changing up his promotional agreements with Top Rank to take that fight, so enter Kirkland as Plan B. Certainly the bulky Kirkland also needs to move up to 160, but he has always been too involved in negative outside influences to properly develop his career which has been something of a mishmash of weights. All I know is these guys are playing with the the worst kind of fire trying to make these unnatural weights as are many other fighters. Canelo will likely be over 170 come fight night, and Kirkland might be 180 or over.

Mainly this looks to finally be a great fight for the fans after Canelo consecutively took on 3 straight American stinker/spoiler styles to very little acclaim and credit. He needs an all action fight as he works his way back into a desolate boxing landscape at Golden Boy Promotions after their acrimonious divorce from Al Haymon. Haymon also took most of the GBP fighters with him in the swindle of the new boxing century that is still being played out. Oscar de la Hoya did win a private settlement against former honcho Richard Schaefer who engineered those deals, but, it’s not clear if De La Hoya can shake his substance abuse problems to resurrect what used to be an up and coming promotional juggernaut. A big Canelo win would be a much needed jumpstart to what looks to a slow year for them.

And speaking of, Mr. cent’s promotional debut was highly welcomed by boxing and fans as much needed new promotional blood, yet since has been slowly circling the drain as his biggest stars fizzled. A big Kirkland win gives both a monumental kick upstairs for bigger fights, so this opportunity is like manna raining from the heavens for them.

It’s a certainty that nobody has yet seen the best possible Kirkland, but if he does show up well trained with some new skills and wrinkles, will it be enough?

Not many know or remember that the teen aged Canelo more than held his own in many spirited sparring sessions against the best middleweight fighter today, Gennedy Golovkin. Yes, that Triple G, mi compadres, is some serious experience under the worst kind of punching pressure. Kirkland also looks impossibly strong at his best, his best fights being his last two against Mexican Carlos Molina and American Glen Tapia. The light swatting Molina put him in one hell of a fight where Kirkland injured an arm that had to undergo surgery afterwards, yet still managed to brutalize Molina with some big shots at the end that sent Molina’s manager scrambling into the ring to save his fighter. Kirkland didn’t get enough credit for the incredible heart he showed with that fight, and now his stellar knockout of Tapia  last year is long forgotten in a “what have you done lately” world of boxing.

Kirkland is also a lefty, one of the modern explosion of southpaw contenders and champs that far outweighs their prevalence in the general population. Lefties have proven tough to beat overall and few fighters like to fight them, not even lefties themselves like to fight each other. Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout are recent southpaws that Canelo beat, but they were faint hearted spoiler types that have little relevance in preparation for the bludgeoning, bluntforce aggression of Kirkland. Canelo, started his career as a 15 year old against stronger, more mature fighters, so this is nothing really new for him. All he really needs is to be in good fight shape with decent sparring as Kirkland will put him through his paces for sure.

Regardless, Canelo said the Kirkland fight is on, and so it shall be as a rare treat for the fans. Stay tuned for the rock’em, sock’em finale.