Canelo Alvarez drills James Kirkland in 3 brutal rounds; says he’s ready for anyone

Canelo Alvarez drilling James Kirkland on Saturday night (Photo: Naoki Fukuda)


By Chris Robinson

It was a wild night in Houston, Texas, as Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez dispatched a brave but outgunned James Kirkland in under three rounds inside of the Minute Maid Park.

With the win, the Guadalajara, Mexico native moves to 45-1-1 with 32 knockouts while Kirkland suffers the second stoppage loss of his career, falling to 32-2 with 28 knockouts.

Alvarez remained patient in the first round, weathering an attack from Kirkland for a few minutes before turning the tide and dropping him with a right hand to the chin. Kirkland rose on weary legs and barely managed to survive the round.

“The Mandingo Warrior” regrouped and fought better in frame two, but you got the sense that it was only a matter of time before Canelo closed the show.

That came at two minutes and 29 seconds of the third round when Alvarez caught Kirkland with a right uppercut that registered his second knockdown. Canelo finished things for good moments later, as a right hand on Kirkland’s chin left him sprawled on the matt as the crowd erupted.

“Fighting a man like Kirkland, it’s something that I love,” Canelo stated afterwards.

In the wake of last weekend’s Mayweather vs. Pacquiao disappointment, it was refreshing to see Canelo deliver this kind of excitement.

“I don’t focus on other fighters,” Canelo said. “I focus on what the people like and that’s important to me. I don’t run away from anyone.”

Chris Robinson can be reached at

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