Canelo vs Kirkland – Shovel and Dirt

The fallout from last weekend’s debacle in Las Vegas began no sooner than the spill out from the MGM Grand Garden Arena as well as homes, bars and clubs worldwide. Perhaps the greatest collective sting was likely felt here in the United States, where many had to be initially convinced that the pay per view price tag attached to the bout was not a misprint. As of Wednesday, sports shows across radio and television (and of course the internet) continued to be replete with opinions ranging from valid to nonsensical. It’s an entirely different argument for another day as to why so many people suddenly care about one particular bout, regardless of its significance. Boxing has been here. It’s not going anywhere.

Only those who are more annoying than the sight of the first grey hair on our collective heads are incessantly yapping away over a contest they so foolishly expected to be a slugfest. Just off the top of the fight game’s head could be beckoned such recent classics as Gatti v Ward or Corrales v Castillo, not that the majority of those who are dominating the airwaves over Mayweather v Pacquiao could tell you the first thing about such nights.

Along comes the saving grace that is toight’s boxing benevolence taking place at Minute Maid Park in this writer’s hometown of Houston, Texas. The main event of the evening will showcase Mexican boxing superstar, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KO’s) and James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-1, 28 KO’s) of Austin, TX. Although neither Alvarez nor Kirkland are the types to boastfully promote themselves as fight night draws nearer, their respective employers (Golden Boy Promotions, Leija-Battah Promotions and SMS Promotions) seemed to know well ahead of time that their night of fights scheduled on the diamond in the Space City would give fans a night to remember.

Furthermore, not only would they give a great evening, but one that would have fans forgetting all about the big fight in Las Vegas altogether. Little did they know just how much their assistance would be needed as well as greatly appreciated.

A ticket to Saturday’s literal day and night of fights in Houston will allow fans to see a total of sixteen bouts should they choose to be at the ballpark when the gates open at 11am CT. Saturday’s card includes not only the aforementioned Alvarez and Kirkland, but also such names as Humberto Soto, Frankie Gomez, Joshua Clottey, KeAndre Gibson and Alfonso Lopez. Additionally, fans will have the chance to see 7’0” Chinese heavyweight Taishan Dong.

Tickets start at just $10. That’s a true bargain which further solidifies, at least on the surface Canelo Alvarez’s assertions that he fights for the people. Of course, kudos are more than due in the direction of Oscar De La Hoya, Eddie Reynoso (Canelo Promotions), Mike Battah and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson of SMS Promotions. Yes, that 50 Cent.

So, as fight night (and day) approaches, let’s hope that the headlining bout set to be televised as part of HBO’s “World Championship Boxing” (9PM ET/PT) can act as the shovel and dirt needed to effectively bury the wretched memories of last Saturday’s bout in Sin City. No disrespect is intended for neither Floyd Mayweather, Jr. nor Manny Pacquiao, of course, but rather the scores of media stiffs who have been out in the sun for far too long. Let’s hope this bout allows them to crawl back under the rock from which they surfaced. Too many have expressed that boxing is dead. The sport never really needed the type of malcontents we’ve been seeing lately. We never did, either. If you don’t like it, then perhaps you shouldn’t watch. We won’t make you and of course, we won’t miss you.

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