Kirkland Not Worried About Ring Rust Versus Canelo

By Jake Donovan

It will have been 16 months since James Kirkland entered a prizefight by the time he faces Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in the ring on May 9 in Houston, Texas. The two all-action fighters collide in a 155 lb. catchweight bout, one that has been nearly three years in the making.

For reasons only Kirkland can explain—but never will—just one fight has come in the time since he was first offered the opportunity to face Alvarez in Sept. ’12. That one bout was a hell of a solo performance, surviving an early rush from Glen Tapia to nearly decapitate the then-unbeaten junior middleweight, scoring a violent 6th round knockout in their Dec. ’13 brawl.

The lights-out punching southpaw from Austin, Texas sat out all of 2014 before accepting a second chance opportunity to face Alvarez, this time not hesitating to sign on for the HBO-televised headliner.

“I can’t cry over spilled milk,” Kirkland says of past business that has led to just one fight in the span of over three years. “One thing I can say is that the things I’ve learned over that course of time is a positive thing. I never stopped working in the gym. I’ve always been hands-on in the gym, staying in shape and training.”

There has been legitimate concern about Kirkland (32-1, 28KOs) taking on such a dangerous fight after a long ring break. But as he’s learned the hard way in the past, you have to take what comes and make the most of it.

“It’s just an opportunity I’ve wanted since the layoff. It came knocking at the door; I answered and I took it,” notes Kirkland. “It’s a fight I’m truly prepared for. I’m prepared to make big things happen. This is my opportunity.”

Alvarez (44-1-1, 31KOs) comes in having won two straight following the lone loss of his career, a 12-round decision to Floyd Mayweather in Sept. ’13. The bout will be his first since an awkward but well-earned 12-round split decision over Erislandy Lara last July.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by T.M.T on 04-22-2015

[QUOTE=New England;15593720]kirkland's been known to skip training. there's plenty of quit, i assure you. if you can't get enough courage to beat your alarm clock, you're gonna have a hell of a hard time with a world class offensive fighter…

Comment by New England on 04-22-2015

[QUOTE=DreamerUSA;15593764]Alvarez is a decent boxer at best and anyways this fight is'nt going to be a boxing match. This fight is going to take place in the trenches and Canelo does'nt posses the skills to stop that from happening. Inside…

Comment by DreamerUSA on 04-22-2015

[QUOTE=New England;15593557]brian vera, huh? he's got the slow part down, surely, but he literally boxes like a novice. pardon me for recognizing a bad chin when i see it coming up against a very good offensive fighter when his opponent…

Comment by New England on 04-22-2015

kirkland's been known to skip training. there's plenty of quit, i assure you. if you can't get enough courage to beat your alarm clock, you're gonna have a hell of a hard time with a world class offensive fighter finding…

Comment by anonymous2.0 on 04-22-2015

[QUOTE=DreamerUSA;15593204]What you just said leads me to believe that you have never seen Kirkland fight. Quit is'nt in his DNA. As to his layoffs. He was off longer in between the Molina and Tapia fight than he will be here…

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