By Osman Rodriguez
As reported earlier on BoxingScene.com, James Kirkland withdrew from a scheduled fight with WBC junior middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on September 15th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Kirkland, who agreed to take the fight on Thursday, was still feeling the effects of a right shoulder injury when he entered the gym for a light workout later that night.
Kirkland suffered the injury during a March disqualification win over Carlos Molina. He underwent surgery and was medically cleared on Wednesday, but the shoulder is going to require a few more weeks of rehabilitation.
Kirkland is the second scheduled opponent, for Canelo, to fall out in less than a week's time. Last week a deak was reached for Canelo to fight Paul "The Punisher" Williams - but Williams was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident on Sunday near Atlanta.
Canelo is still going to return on September 15, and there are three opponents being considered, according to information provided to BoxingScene by sources close to Canelo's team.
Those three options include IBF champion Cornelius Bundrage (31-4, 18KOs), who has a set rematch with Cory Spinks on June 30th. Then there is Erislandy Lara (16-1, 11KOs) of Cuba, the WBC's top contender. And the final option under consideration is Austin Trout (24-0, 14KOs), the WBA's "regular" champion at 154. Trout defends his title on Saturday night against Delvin Rodriguez at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California - AND Canelo will be at ringside to watch the fight. Trout dominated Canelo's older brother Rigoberto Alvarez last february in Mexico.
Lara quickly reached out to BoxingScene to advise the public that he's ready to go and deserves to get the spot.
"I'm still waiting for the call. I really don't expect my own promoter to jump me for a third time. I'm ready, willing and 100% healthy to take on Canelo. I've earned it by becoming the number one WBC mandatory challenger and this is the type of opportunity that I left my kids, mother and family in Cuba for. My freedom and opportunity to be able feed them," Lara said.