"You guys want to see a war," Saul "Canelo" Alvarez told a crowd gathered at Houston's Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, "you’re going to get a war."
Alvarez was speaking at a press conference to announce his upcoming battle with hard hitting pit bull James Kirkland, which will occur at Minute Maid Park on May 9th. Many people had assumed that Alvarez' next opponent would be smallish middleweight king Miguel Cotto. After negotiations dragged, however, the 44-1-1 junior middleweight arranged a brawl with Austin native Kirkland, a thrilling brawler with a 32-1 resume, instead.
The fight will air live on HBO, but for those who can make it, ticket prices for Minute Maid Park will be extremely affordable. This is a bout which, by design, is meant to please the fans.
"Action, action, action," Kirkland said to the gathered audience on Tuesday. Like Alvarez, Kirkland clearly believes that fans wish to be thrilled. "They want a true, heart to heart fight," the man who goes by the name of "Mandingo Warrior" exclaimed. "Blood sweat and tears in the ring all the way to the finish line."
The bout, which will come a week after the Mayweather-Pacquiao superfight, may conceivably draw in a live crowd of well over thirty-thousand people. Television ratings look to be extremely healthy, as well.
Although many wanted to see Alvarez fight Cotto, Kirkland is an exciting foe indeed. Those who argue that Kirkland is no longer a threat since leaving trainer Ann Wolfe may well be underestimating the man. As promoter Oscar De La Hoya noted, Kirkland is "a fighter who doesn’t know how to take a step back."
In short, the slugger with twenty-eight knockouts is simply not to be shrugged off. Alvarez knows that, and fans should, as well. This is a match which has the potential to really deliver.
"It will be," promoter 50 Cent told the crowd, "something exciting for everyone to remember."