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Knockout or Decision? Media Experts Give Their Picks for Canelo vs. Kirkland





HOUSTON (May 8) – Media experts are making their predictions for how the showdown between heavy hitters Canelo Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) and James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) will end on May 9 at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. Given the power of both fighters, all agree that this fight will be explosive in the ring and action-packed from start to finish. The experts we polled overwhelmingly agree: this fight will end when someone gets knocked out.

Here’s what they had to say:


“Canelo for the knockout.”


“Sometimes, the best fights are the most predictable ones. In regards to Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland, we know who they are, and we know what they will bring to the table, that’s why this fight promises to be so exciting. While I expect some grueling and tough early-round exchanges, Canelo will be happy that he doesn’t have to go searching for Kirkland. Canelo’s punching accuracy and his ability to move in and out of range quickly will help him overwhelm Kirkland and earn a late-round stoppage.”

DAMIAN CALHOUN, Orange County Register:

“I would be extremely surprised if this fight goes the distance. This has explosive written all over it and fans should enjoy it for as long as it lasts. I think Kirkland will present some problems for Alvarez. I think the absence of trainer Ann Wolfe will play a large role in the fight. She always knew what buttons to push to get Kirkland motivated. I expect Alvarez to mix up his attack, working the body constantly, and leading to a late-round stoppage.”


“I think it ends in a knockout. This one has early stoppage written all over it. In fact, Kirkland’s reckless, fan-friendly style will make sure of it. Canelo will be forced to stand and fight, where his stronger technique will win out. But not before having his chin and backbone tested.”

ANTHONY COCKS, Ringside Report:

“I just can’t see Canelo-Kirkland being a distance fight regardless of who wins. Kirkland’s best chance is to jump on Canelo early and rattle him before he settles into his rhythm. But the most likely scenario is Canelo surviving the early firefight to break down Kirkland in the mid-rounds, stopping him in the seventh or eighth round.”

TIM DAHLBERG, Associated Press:

“I like Canelo by TKO, probably around the seventh round. Both are strong punchers, but Canelo has the edge in ring generalship.”

RICHARD DEAN, Houston Chronicle:

“Kirkland’s been wanting this fight for a long time. The long layoff won’t affect Kirkland in the ring. A refined slugger, I predict Kirkland in a knockout that will catapult his career to new heights.”


“In my opinion, in spite of the power of both Canelo and James, I believe the fight will go the full length because the fight will be a tactical one. Each fighter knows the power of they both have and a KO will occur if they take unnecessary risks and go for a knockout. Therefore, they will both fight a tactical fight in an attempt to win via the judges’ decision.”


“A fistic delight when hard-hitting Canelo Alvarez defends his reputation against Texan tough guy James Kirkland. While I expect plenty of good quality brawling from these two grinders, I believe Canelo knows better than to indulge in any risky, long-term shootouts with a slugger like Kirkland, and I predict that the redhead from Guadalajara will box, and definitely punch, his way to a unanimous decision.”


“Kirkland is dangerous because he’s aggressive and hits hard, but Canelo is a better boxer by a long shot and hits very hard. I think he’ll systematically break Kirland down and stop him midway through the fight.”


“In what will be an entertaining back-and-forth affair, I think the steadiness and consistency of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will eventually tame and subdue Kirkland. Kirkland’s aggression and mentality always make him a dangerous foe, but I worry about his protracted layoff. I like Canelo via KO in the 10th round.”

KELSEY McCARSON, Bleacher Report:

“Canelo-Kirkland is the kind of matchup that screams knockout. Both fighters come ready and willing to engage. Both are excellent offensively and solid punchers. And both men need the win. It will be an all-action slugfest between two outstanding junior middleweights, and I believe it will end in someone being concussed put down for the count. Kirkland is exactly the kind of fighter who brings out the best in Alvarez. He’ll come forward, land thudding punches and make Alvarez respond in kind. But Alvarez is one of the best in the biz. He’ll use his better footwork and faster hands to land a higher volume on punches as the fight wears on and by Round 10 the fight will be over. Alvarez will be the winner by TKO.”

JEFF POWELL, The Daily Mail:

“Canelo by TKO, probably around the tenth round.”


“I think Canelo will knock Kirkland out in the ninth round after they engage in a slugfest for most of the fight. Kirkland has an edge in power, but Canelo also has power and he’s a much better technical boxer. Eventually he will pick Kirkland apart and then drop him.”

MARK WHICKER, Los Angeles Daily News:

“I’m picking Canelo in a seventh-round knockout, provided he can get through Kirkland’s power in the early rounds.”

MICHAEL WOODS, The Sweet Science:

“Someone is hitting the deck, and staying there, on Saturday in Texas. Bombs will explode, and I think will damage Kirkland, sans Ann Wolfe, more than the Mexican.”

Tickets for May 9 Canelo vs. Kirkland are priced at $350, $150, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable fees and service charges, are available for purchase at, the Minute Maid Park Box Office (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, online at There is a 19-ticket limit per household.

Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland is a 12-round super welterweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Canelo Promotions, SMS Promotions and Leija*Battah Promotions. The fight will take place Saturday, May 9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston and is sponsored by Corona Extra, Mexico – Live it to Believe it!, Fred Loya Insurance and O’Reilly Auto Parts. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. CT and first bout starts at 11:10 a.m. CT, the HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

For more information, visit,,, and, follow on Twitter at @GoldenBoyBoxing, @SMS_Boxing, @HBOBoxing, @Canelo, @KOKirkland, @Astros @LeijaBattahPR become a fan on Facebook at Golden Boy Facebook Page,, and visit us on Instagram @GoldenBoyBoxing, @smsboxing and @HBOboxing, @Canelopower, @Kirklandsworld. Follow the conversation using



2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura



The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.



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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score



This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.


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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland



On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda


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