James Kirkland hit the deck in the first round, off a left hook, against Nobuhiro Ishida, just 30 seconds into the first round of the undercard clash at the MGM Grand on Saturday night in Las Vegas. He went down again at 1:44, and was up on shaky legs. A one-two put him on the mat and the ref Joe Cortez said no mas. The end of this middleweight "Action Heroes" clash came at 1:52 of the first, by KO. Kirkland, the 27-year-old Texan who was in the can for two years on a weapons charge, is now 27-1, while the 35-year-old Ishida rises to 23-6-2. Kirkland said after to Max Kellerman that the knockdowns were flash knockdowns. He was asked if he might go back to training with Anne Wolfe, and he said his camp went well, and he is ready to fight, so he didn't take the bait.
Former IBF junior welterweight champion Paul Malignaggi (29-4, 6 KOs) got a UD over Jose Miguel Cotto (32-3-1, 24 KOs) over ten rounds in a welterweight clash, winning 99-91, 99-91, 97-93. Paulie's hand-speed was the difference and he realized quickly that little bro wouldn't pose anywhere near the problems the elder Cotto did. A cut over Paulie's eye dripped blood but didn't keep him from his task.
Junior welter Danny Garcia (21-0; age 23) added the scalp of Nate Campbell (33-8-1; age 39) to his resume. The cards read 99-91, 98-92 and 100-90 and that may be all she wrote for the likeable vet Campbell, who has lost three in a row (Victor Ortiz, and Walter Estrada before this loss).
Olympic gold medalist Rakhim Chakhkiev (10-0, 8 KOs) stopped Harvey Jolly (12-16-1, 6 KOs) in round three of a cruiserweight tussle.
Junior middleweight Mikael Zewski (9-0, 5 KOs) won a split decision against Clint Coronel (4-2-2, 1 KO). Zewski impressed by scores of 60-54, 59-55 on two cards, while another arbiter saw it 54-60.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV