When most of the people in the world were gathering for dinner on Christmas Eve on December 24, middleweight contender Juan Macias Montiel of Sinaloa was with his uncles Pedro and Eduardo from the Kochul Gym team in California, avoiding food and liquids in order to make weight for his upcoming fight.

On Saturday night in Los Angeles, Montiel pulled off a showcase win on FOX, when he demolished veteran James Kirkland in the first round.

Kirkland, who entered the ring as a slight betting favorite, was dropped three times before the contest was waved off.

Montiel viewed the big win as the best Christmas gift he could have received in 2020.

"I sacrificed my Christmas, on December 24, where everyone is used to having dinner and being together.. I was, you know what a boxer goes through, without eating, without drinking liquids, or anything, preparing for the weigh-in. The weigh-in was on the 25th - but my Christmas was that night [December 26], and it was Christmas for my entire team, thank God," Montiel told Armando Baldenebro.

Kirkland has always had a vulnerable chin - and Montiel has heavy hands with his 21 wins all coming by knockout.

"That's right, this is what I expected, that was my Christmas, I knew that Christmas was going to be spent away from my family and without the festivities we used to, but I liked this version of Christmas more, let's hope that all my Christmases are like that,"Montiel said.

Montiel is the nephew of former multi-division world champion, Fernando Montiel.

“I am very happy, the whole team is very happy, everyone, my family, because thank God things turned out as we expected, we were not surprised by this. He was a strong opponent.... not just anyone gets up after three knockdowns, and he wanted to keep fighting after the third knockdown, but that's what we prepared for," Montiel said.

Kirkland, 36, entered the contest with a record of 34 wins, 2 setbacks and 30 knockouts. Coming in, he had only lost to Nobuhiro Ishida in 2011 and to Saúl “Canelo” Alvarez in 2015. The fight was supposed to be the start of a big comeback, but it likely became the end of the road.