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If last week lulled you to sleep, then the veritable street fight that broke out at the Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas should have been enough to wake you up.
In front of a raucous crowd of 31,588 fans, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (40-1, 32 KOs) viciously knocked James Kirkland in the third round of a scheduled 12-round Junior Middleweight fight.
The fight was televised on HBO in the U.S.
Alvarez, a smart counter puncher with deceptively quick hands, took only half-a-round to find his rhythm before spending Rounds 2 and 3 landing nearly at will.
After the opening bell, Kirkland did what he said he’d do–he ran towards Alvarez and began peppering him with shots.
Alvarez, however, was not dismayed. The 24-year-old calmly allowed himself to be backed to the ropes where a peak-a-boo stance blocked most of the punches.
The stance kept most shots away, but Alvarez was still hit a bit around his glove, and it seemed as if he was genuinely in trouble.
Then, almost halfway through Round 1, Alvarez found an opening and began landing vicious combinations. Jabs, right hands, left hooks and uppercuts–Alvarez looked like he could land everything in his arsenal.
Alvarez then landed a vicious right hand that immediately send Kirkland to the ground. The fight seemed to be over by then, but even an barrage of counterpunches at the end of the round didn’t stop Kirkland from fighting back.
In the following round, Alvarez put his foot off the gas for a bit, but it was only to begin punching more accurately and efficiently.
Alvarez’s intelligence was rewarded in Round 3 as he calmly picked his shots before smoothly pulling back from one of Kirkland’s left hands to come back with a picture-perfect uppercut that sent Kirkland tumbling down.
As he now smelled a finish, Alvarez landed a jab to the body followed by an overhand right that knocked Kirkland down and out.
It was a vicious knockout that even drew concern from Alvarez himself, as he stood by Kirkland to see if he was okay.
Soon, however, Kirkland was back to his feet and said he was grateful for being granted the opportunity for such exposure.
As for Alvarez, a fight with Miguel Cotto may be in his future. Cotto defends the lineal Middleweight title against Daniel Geale in June, and a win could send both fighters to a showdown in September.
However, Alvarez didn’t mention any names, and said that he’d be willing to fight anyone.
When asked about Gennady Golovkin, Alvarez said “Yes, why not? In the future, yes.”
There is a tentativeness in Alvarez’s response, so it may take a while, if it actually happens.
“We’ll see,” said Oscar De La Hoya in the post-fight press conference, “We’ll see what fights are exciting to make.”
Who would you like to see Alvarez fight next? Let us know in the comments section below.