By Rick Reeno
Trainer Kenny Adams spoke with BoxingScene.com about the upcoming junior middleweight war between James Kirkland (29-1, 26KOs) and Alfredo Angulo (20-1, 7KOs), which takes place on November 5th in Cancun, Mexico. HBO will televise.
Adams worked with Kirkland for three of his five fights in 2011. They parted ways back in April after heavy-underdog, Nobuhiro Ishida of Japan, stopped Kirkland in the first round on the Erik Morales-Marcos Maidana undercard in Las Vegas. Kirkland returned to his original trainer, Ann Wolfe. He scored two TKO wins since their reunion.
Adams expects a short, explosive fight - and he gives Angulo the slight edge.
"It's a pick'em fight. It depends on who lands first, and that person is going. But somebody is going. I think at this point, maybe, Angulo's youth and a little [more] speed will help him overcome Kirkland's power," Adams told BoxingScene.com.
"They have that mentality. They won't go out there and touch them up and warm up. They are going to go out there and greet each other right from the get. It's going to go like that, so it's probably going to be a short fight. Angulo has been hurt too, but not as much as Kirkland. I'm going to give a slight edge to Angulo."
Adams blames the unexpected loss to Ishida on Kirkland being rushed too fast from one fight to the next.
"What I really wanted to do with Kirkland was to spend a little time and teach him some defense, but he's such a hardcore fighter that he just wants to go and turn it loose and doesn't care about getting hit. If he spent more time on defense, I really think he could be a great fighter. Angulo is a little more defensive minded than Kirkland," Adams said.
"I wish him the best. Underneath everything he's a real good kid. Sometimes people get misguided. I think with him it was too much, too fast and too quick. In four or five weeks we had three fights. There was no time to make adjustments or do anything and he was barely making weight. But no excuses, because I accept responsibility."