By Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer is expecting a knockout ending in the upcoming junior middleweight collision between WBC 154-pound champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (40-0-1, 29KOs) and top contender James Kirkland (31-1, 27KOs). Canelo-Kirkland headlines a pay-per-view event on September 15th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The event will be called "Knockout Kings" and the entire pay-per-view card will be centered around fights where the likely end scenario will involve a knockout. To make things more interesting for the fighters involved, there will be an additional monetary bonus for the boxer who executes the best knockout ending. A four city press tour is being scheduled, with stops in Texas, New York, Los Angeles and Mexico. The pay-per-view carrier has not been finalized at the moment.
"The entire card will be themed "Knockout Kings" and it's going to be a big night, an exciting night and very fitting for the big Mexican holiday on September 15th," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
"We will be giving the people who buy the pay-per-view, and those watching in Las Vegas live in the venue, the opportunity to text and vote for the knockout of the night. Whatever fight that is going to be voted as the best "knockout of the night" - [the fighter who scored the knockout] will be presented with an additional $100,000 check."
"We are going to be working on a press tour - New York, LA, Texas and Mexico. A four city press tour and we're going to start working on that. Then I'm going to be working on the TV, on the pay-per-view and we are going to be ready to announce that in next couple of days."
Following his March ten round disqualification win over Carlos Molina, Kirkland underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair two tears in his right shoulder. It was initially believed that Kirkland would not be able to fight until the month of October. However, Kirkland received his final medical clearance on Wednesday by his treating physician.
Because Kirkland's medical status was up in the air, a deal was finalized last week for Canelo to face Paul "The Punisher" Williams. This past Sunday near Atlanta, Williams suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident. The tragic incident left Williams paralyzed from the waist down.
The unfortunate incident opened up the door for Golden Boy to revisit a possible fight between Canelo and Kirkland. A deal was reached on Thursday.
"The fact is Kirkland has always been on Canelo's radar. It's a fight which we always wanted to do. It didn't happen because with Kirkland we didn't expect him to be ready but now he is ready. He got cleared. It's very exciting because it is one of those fights where you can leave the judges at home. I guarantee you, I will take bets on that, that there will be a knockout. Either Canelo is going to get knocked out or Kirkland is going to get knocked out. That fight is not going to go to the scorecards. That's why we are going to call it "Knockout Kings," Schaefer said.
"It will be a dangerous fight for Canelo because James will be ready and he's going to come and try to knock Canelo's head off. Canelo is going to have to use his ring smarts and be alert. You don't want to blink. This is one of those fights where you don't want to blink. I'm very excited because this is exactly what boxing is about."
The co-feature was finalized last week, with WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez (52-7, 45 KOs) defending his championship against Daniel Ponce De Leon (43-4, 35KOs). Another fight where most people expect a knockout ending.
"Gonzalez and Ponce De Leon, another fight where you can leave the judges at home. That's the kind of fights that we want to do," Schaefer said.