Several years ago, James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo were simultaneously groomed on HBO as young, dangerous prospects with lethal punching power and unmerciful aggression. After going down divergent paths of hardship, the two men will finally meet in a November 5 “Boxing After Dark” showdown from Cancun, Mexico.
Over the last two years, the fighters have lost their undefeated records in surprise upsets: Angulo by unanimous decision to Kermit Cintron, and Kirkland via a shocking 1st round TKO to Nobuhiro Ishida. Since then, each has rebounded with quick KOs against lesser opposition. With both competing at junior middleweight and seeking to make a big statement before 2012, the fight materialized quickly after potential Angulo opponent Vanes Martirosyan turned down the November 5 date.
“This is a fight that fans have been looking forward to for years and now we are finally going to see Angulo vs. Kirkland, and the word ‘explosive’ won’t do it justice,” said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who promotes Angulo. “There’s no mystery as to what either fighter wants to do on November 5. James and Alfredo are both going to be looking for the knockout and I can’t wait to see it.”
With Kirkland just one fight removed from a devastating and embarrassing first round KO loss, Angulo praised his rival for taking the bout on short notice. He promises a display of brutal slugging over “sweet science.”
“This is the kind of fight boxing needs and I respect James Kirkland for stepping up and taking it,” Angulo explained. “We’re not going to dance or hug in there on November 5th; we’re going to fight, and I can’t wait.”
Outside of the Ishida loss, Kirkland has fought four times, winning each bout by knockout in two round or less. With Angulo posting a 1st round KO in his last bout, Kirkland sees a kindred seek and destroy style.
“Angulo has been on my radar for a long time and I’m happy that we’re finally going to get a chance to fight each other,” stated Kirkland. ”He’s a good fighter, I like his style and I know we’re going to make for a great fight.”
On the undercard, undefeated middleweight Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin will face former training mate Craig McEwan, who is coming off an exciting 10th round TKO loss to Andy Lee. Knowing that McEwan has guaranteed a knockout, Quillin is willing to lay aside his boxing skill if McEwan opts to make it a brawl.
“I know Craig is a solid fighter with tons of fight in him because we used to train together in the same gym, but he has to prove that he has what it takes to give me my first loss,” Quillin said. “He has tons of heart, but so do I, and if he wants to make a good fight, then he can meet me right in the middle of the ring on November 5th.”
The HBO doubleheader will air live from the Cancun Center in Cancun, Mexico on November 5 at 10:15 PM.