Knockout or Decision? Media Experts Give Their Picks for Canelo vs. Kirkland

KNOCKOUT OR DECISION? MEDIA EXPERTS GIVE THEIR PICKS FOR CANELO VS. KIRKLAND

THIS SATURDAY, MAY 9 FROM MINUTE MAID PARK IN HOUSTON AND TELEVISED LIVE ON HBO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®

HOUSTON (May 8) – Media experts are making their predictions for how the showdown between heavy hitters Canelo Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) and James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) will end on May 9 at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. Given the power of both fighters, all agree that this fight will be explosive in the ring and action-packed from start to finish. The experts we polled overwhelmingly agree: this fight will end when someone gets knocked out.

Here’s what they had to say:

EDUARDO BECERRIL, HOY Los Angeles:

“Canelo for the knockout.”

ALEX BURGOS, RoundbyRoundBoxing.com:

“Sometimes, the best fights are the most predictable ones. In regards to Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland, we know who they are, and we know what they will bring to the table, that’s why this fight promises to be so exciting. While I expect some grueling and tough early-round exchanges, Canelo will be happy that he doesn’t have to go searching for Kirkland. Canelo’s punching accuracy and his ability to move in and out of range quickly will help him overwhelm Kirkland and earn a late-round stoppage.”

DAMIAN CALHOUN, Orange County Register:

“I would be extremely surprised if this fight goes the distance. This has explosive written all over it and fans should enjoy it for as long as it lasts. I think Kirkland will present some problems for Alvarez. I think the absence of trainer Ann Wolfe will play a large role in the fight. She always knew what buttons to push to get Kirkland motivated. I expect Alvarez to mix up his attack, working the body constantly, and leading to a late-round stoppage.”

BRIAN CAMPBELL, ESPN.com:

“I think it ends in a knockout. This one has early stoppage written all over it. In fact, Kirkland’s reckless, fan-friendly style will make sure of it. Canelo will be forced to stand and fight, where his stronger technique will win out. But not before having his chin and backbone tested.”

ANTHONY COCKS, Ringside Report:

“I just can’t see Canelo-Kirkland being a distance fight regardless of who wins. Kirkland’s best chance is to jump on Canelo early and rattle him before he settles into his rhythm. But the most likely scenario is Canelo surviving the early firefight to break down Kirkland in the mid-rounds, stopping him in the seventh or eighth round.”

TIM DAHLBERG, Associated Press:

“I like Canelo by TKO, probably around the seventh round. Both are strong punchers, but Canelo has the edge in ring generalship.”

RICHARD DEAN, Houston Chronicle:

“Kirkland’s been wanting this fight for a long time. The long layoff won’t affect Kirkland in the ring. A refined slugger, I predict Kirkland in a knockout that will catapult his career to new heights.”

ED DE LA VEGA, PhilBoxing.com:

“In my opinion, in spite of the power of both Canelo and James, I believe the fight will go the full length because the fight will be a tactical one. Each fighter knows the power of they both have and a KO will occur if they take unnecessary risks and go for a knockout. Therefore, they will both fight a tactical fight in an attempt to win via the judges’ decision.”

GUY DOCETONI, Heavy.com:

“A fistic delight when hard-hitting Canelo Alvarez defends his reputation against Texan tough guy James Kirkland. While I expect plenty of good quality brawling from these two grinders, I believe Canelo knows better than to indulge in any risky, long-term shootouts with a slugger like Kirkland, and I predict that the redhead from Guadalajara will box, and definitely punch, his way to a unanimous decision.”

KEVIN IOLE, YAHOO! Sports:

“Kirkland is dangerous because he’s aggressive and hits hard, but Canelo is a better boxer by a long shot and hits very hard. I think he’ll systematically break Kirland down and stop him midway through the fight.”

STEVE KIM, UCNLive.com:

“In what will be an entertaining back-and-forth affair, I think the steadiness and consistency of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will eventually tame and subdue Kirkland. Kirkland’s aggression and mentality always make him a dangerous foe, but I worry about his protracted layoff. I like Canelo via KO in the 10th round.”

KELSEY McCARSON, Bleacher Report:

“Canelo-Kirkland is the kind of matchup that screams knockout. Both fighters come ready and willing to engage. Both are excellent offensively and solid punchers. And both men need the win. It will be an all-action slugfest between two outstanding junior middleweights, and I believe it will end in someone being concussed put down for the count. Kirkland is exactly the kind of fighter who brings out the best in Alvarez. He’ll come forward, land thudding punches and make Alvarez respond in kind. But Alvarez is one of the best in the biz. He’ll use his better footwork and faster hands to land a higher volume on punches as the fight wears on and by Round 10 the fight will be over. Alvarez will be the winner by TKO.”

JEFF POWELL, The Daily Mail:

“Canelo by TKO, probably around the tenth round.”

BOB VELIN, USA Today:

“I think Canelo will knock Kirkland out in the ninth round after they engage in a slugfest for most of the fight. Kirkland has an edge in power, but Canelo also has power and he’s a much better technical boxer. Eventually he will pick Kirkland apart and then drop him.”

MARK WHICKER, Los Angeles Daily News:

“I’m picking Canelo in a seventh-round knockout, provided he can get through Kirkland’s power in the early rounds.”

MICHAEL WOODS, The Sweet Science:

“Someone is hitting the deck, and staying there, on Saturday in Texas. Bombs will explode, and I think will damage Kirkland, sans Ann Wolfe, more than the Mexican.”

Tickets for May 9 Canelo vs. Kirkland are priced at $350, $150, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable fees and service charges, are available for purchase at Astros.com/boxing, the Minute Maid Park Box Office (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, online at www.ticketmaster.com. There is a 19-ticket limit per household.

Canelo Alvarez vs. James Kirkland is a 12-round super welterweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Canelo Promotions, SMS Promotions and Leija*Battah Promotions. The fight will take place Saturday, May 9 at Minute Maid Park in Houston and is sponsored by Corona Extra, Mexico – Live it to Believe it!, Fred Loya Insurance and O’Reilly Auto Parts. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. CT and first bout starts at 11:10 a.m. CT, the HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

For more information, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com, www.canelopromotions.com.mx,www.smsboxing.com, www.hbo.com/boxing and www.astros.com/boxing, follow on Twitter at @GoldenBoyBoxing, @SMS_Boxing, @HBOBoxing, @Canelo, @KOKirkland, @Astros @LeijaBattahPR become a fan on Facebook at Golden Boy Facebook Page,https://www.facebook.com/SMSBoxing, www.facebook.com/HBOBoxing orwww.facebook.com/astros and visit us on Instagram @GoldenBoyBoxing, @smsboxing and @HBOboxing, @Canelopower, @Kirklandsworld. Follow the conversation using

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COMMENTS

-oubobcat :

I am looking forward to this fight. I see the end result being a knockout. One thing to keep in mind when watching today. Kirkland gets off to slow starts and is very vulnerable early. Ishida starched him in one round (the last time too he entered the ring without Ann Wolfe) and Angulo and Tapia nearly had him out in the first. Kirkland has issues getting going. Once he gets that engine charged he becomes a different fighter. But also keep in mind too Kirkland has not fought in a year and a half and before that was off 21 months. The inactivity will not help his cause especially early. My prediction...Canelo TKO1


-deepwater2 :

Easy win for Canelo. Kirkland looks damaged in the interviews. TKO/KO/RSC in first 6


-amayseng :

I am looking forward to this fight. I see the end result being a knockout. One thing to keep in mind when watching today. Kirkland gets off to slow starts and is very vulnerable early. Ishida starched him in one round (the last time too he entered the ring without Ann Wolfe) and Angulo and Tapia nearly had him out in the first. Kirkland has issues getting going. Once he gets that engine charged he becomes a different fighter. But also keep in mind too Kirkland has not fought in a year and a half and before that was off 21 months. The inactivity will not help his cause especially early. My prediction...Canelo TKO1
Agreed KO round 1


-brownsugar :

No confidence in Kirkland. Too eratic, enigmatic, and sporatic to garner my confidence. If James had stayed consistent and not fallen off the grid so often, changing trainers and supposedly fighting styles, and filing law suits, I could see a chance for victory. I'll take the more disciplined Canelo to pick Kirkland apart and open him up like a can of anchovies.


-Radam G :

I am looking forward to this fight. I see the end result being a knockout. One thing to keep in mind when watching today. Kirkland gets off to slow starts and is very vulnerable early. Ishida starched him in one round (the last time too he entered the ring without Ann Wolfe) and Angulo and Tapia nearly had him out in the first. Kirkland has issues getting going. Once he gets that engine charged he becomes a different fighter. But also keep in mind too Kirkland has not fought in a year and a half and before that was off 21 months. The inactivity will not help his cause especially early. My prediction...Canelo TKO1
The Cowboy Mandingo is idiotic. Holla!


-Pazuzu :

Both fighters survive early bombs, before Canelo uses superior skills, conditioning and his jab to break Kirkland down for a TKO in rounds 8-10. Should be plenty of action, possible fight of the year contender.


-Radam G :

Anchorrrrrrr aaaaaawaaaaaaWAY! OOPS! I musta' fo'got! There will be bombs away! Holla!


-Radam G :

That is one stupid-arse stare down between Canelo and Mandingo. Pugs ought to quit with that dumb jive. I just hope that a scrap breaks out. But I would not be surprised to see another fraud -- I mean fight. Holla!


-ultimoshogun :

I have Canelo winning by stoppage as well. I think Canelo's too smart to get into a brawl with Kirkland and eventually wears him down with a steady body attack.


-brownsugar :

On paper Canelo wins easily. I hope Kirkland can at least test the kids chin. Three or four years ago I wouldn't have hesitated to pick Kirkland. I hope JK still has the fire and the heavy hands.. I don't want to see another replay of Canelo / Angulo.


-amayseng :

On paper Canelo wins easily. I hope Kirkland can at least test the kids chin. Three or four years ago I wouldn't have hesitated to pick Kirkland. I hope JK still has the fire and the heavy hands.. I don't want to see another replay of Canelo / Angulo.
I am hoping for ten round of merciless action. However, my mind tells me Kirkland is unfortunately damaged goods as he tends to get clipped and discombobulated quite easy. I see James coming out fast and reckless and getting caught and KO'd quickly.