Fight Reports

[Video/Photo Gallery] KO of the Year Contender: Canelo Lays Out Kirkland in 3 Round Shootout

The promised fireworks happened and only one man was left standing.

CaneloKirkland_KO

Photo Credit: RoundByRoundBoxing

Photo Gallery: Ed Mulholland/Golden Boy/Golden Boy via Getty Images

HOUSTON, Texas —  The promised fireworks happened and only one man was left standing. Canelo Alvarez weathered an early James Kirkland storm and unleashed vicious shots that scored three knockdowns in route to a third round KO at Minute Maid Park.

Kirkland was the forward aggressor for most of the fight and had Canelo pinned to the ropes within seconds. Canelo stayed calm and delivered heavy hooks downstairs between Kirkland’s pauses. Canelo’s most potent weapons were his left hooks and right hands, which made up the majority of the 79 power shots he landed. A left hook hurt Kirkland first, and a flush right hand followed in short order that put him down.

Kirkland rebounded in round two by getting inside and maintaining a high punch output. But Kirkland’s shots had lost much of their steam, allowing Canelo to carry the round with thudding body shots and straight rights that snapped back Kirkland’s head.

In the third, Canelo closed the show in devastating fashion by bringing Kirkland to his knees with a succession of straight rights followed by an uppercut. Kirkland rose but was sent careening to the canvas for a third and final time via a right hook.

The brutality of the short fight was emphasized in the punch stats. Canelo landed 60% of his power shots (79 of 132). Of Kirkland’s 42 connected punches, 41 were power shots.

The win clears 50 percent of the path to a fall showdown with middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, who has to complete the rumored agreement by defeating Daniel Geale on June 6. Beyond Cotto, Canelo affirmed in his post-fight interview that he’s open to facing other stars like Gennady Golovkin.

“I’m ready for any rival. I don’t run from anyone,” said Canelo.

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FULL FIGHT

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One comment

  1. It was a brutal KO…

    Kirkland is so crude though, Canelo just sat on the ropes looking for lazy shots from Kirkland to counter and he found them at will, he just doesnt waste punches nearly ever shot hurt Kirkland… I said 30 seconds before the shot happened that Kirkland was gonna walk on to an uppercut as Canelo moved back and he did! TBH I think the fight was abit of a farce they where MILES apart in class, it was a one sided massacre… The way Kirkland was standing square and throwing wild winding up punches like an unlicensed fighter was a joke, and just wont cut it at that level…

    I really like Kirkland and I wish him the best, but I think he needs to find a decent trainer… At least hes away from that psychopath Anne Wolfe, she must of destroyed him because I heard he was a good amateur at one point!

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