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21 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Canelo KO's Kirkland In Three Round Thriller

By Marc Livitz at Ringside in Houston, TX: Saul "Canelo" Alvarez fought fire with fire this evening. He was surely tested for a few moments, yet he stayed the course en route to a sensational third round knockout win over James Kirkland this evening at a packed Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston, TX. The 154 pound, non title matchup took place in front of a raucous, pro Alvarez crowd of over 30,000 fans.


The noise in the stadium was deafening at the opening bell. Kirkland was the aggressor early to the head and body of Canelo. He backed him into a corner in the opening minute and forced the man from Guadalajara to tie up. A body shot from Canelo shortly after turned the tides. Moments later, a straight right dropped Kirkland to the ropes. James beat the count and Canelo came out swinging afterwards. He’d been awakened. Uppercuts landed and missed for both men in the closing seconds. Alvarez had Kirkland pinned to the ropes and landed successive shots to the head and body. The bell sounded and the Austin resident may have been saved by it.


The pace continued in the second. Canelo went for the kill. Kirkland fired back but with less affect. They fought close in for a moment. A hard left form James connected. He tried to pin Canelo to the same area he’d just escaped moments earlier. They moved back to the middle of the ring. Kirkland’s shots down low left him open to Canelo’s answers up high. A terrific round came to an end and everyone wondered if it could possibly go another ten.


The grinding ensued yet again in the third. Canelo covered up in a traditional defense, yet Kirkland tried in earnest to break it. He continued to work the body, after which each pause saw Alvarez answer. Canelo caught James coming in with a cleanly placed uppercut which sent him to the canvas once again. Kirkland was clearly on shaky legs as he beat the count. Seconds later, Saul timed James perfectly as he was trying to throw a left hook. With that, Canelo landed a smashing right flush on the Central Texas fighter’s chin. Kirkland crashed seemingly lifeless to the canvas, after which referee Jon Schorle waved the bout to an abrupt halt.


After a sensational second round, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez topped it off with a beautiful knockout at the 2:19 mark of round three and improved his record to (45-1-1, 32 KO’s). James Kirkland fought the way he knew how and he was a worthy opponent as well as crowd pleaser this evening. It however ended in a valiant losing effort and his record now stands at (32-2, 28 KO’s).


"I’m happy about the win, but this is what I expected," said the victorious Canelo. "He’s a strong fighter, but he surprised me in the first and second with his aggressiveness . Once I dropped him the first time, I knew I had him."


"I will continue to fight the best fighters. I’m ready for any opponent, he said in regard to a future bout with Miguel Cotto. "I’m not afraid. He’s the type of fighter I want to fight."


"They are what keep me training harder", he fondly said of the fans. "They make me more motivated to make them happy."


Undercard Results

Joseph Diaz, Jr. UD10 Giovani Delgado – Featherweights

Taishan MD4 Jamal Woods – Heavyweights

KeAndre Gibson UD8 Jorge Romero – Welterweights

Joshua Clottey UD8 Jorge Silva - Jr. Middleweights

Ryan Martin TKO1 Ivan Zavala - Super Lightweights

Curtis Meeks MD8 Ramsey Luna - Super Lightweights

Cresencio Ramos TKO1 Cody Walker – Featherweights

Alfonso Lopez UD6 Lester Gonzalez - Light Heavyweights

Joseph Rodriguez MD6 Luis Guevara - Super Featherweights

Rodrigo Guerrero TKO8 Arturo Badillo - Super Bantamweights

Armando Pina TKO1 Zach Kelley - Light Heavyweights


Marc Livitz

Boxing Writer/Columnist

Twitter: @fightawrita



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May 9, 2015

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