Saturday, May 9, 2015
Can Canelo-Kirkland Be The Fight Everyone Wanted Mayweather-Pacquiao To Be?
Can tonight's Canelo-Kirkland fight from Minute Maid Park in Houston actually be the fight everyone wanted Mayweather-Pacquiao to be? In a word, yes, if what everyone wanted last week was an exciting exchange of fists of willpower. Indeed, Canelo-Kirkland looks like it can be just that fight.
Canelo hasn't taken an easy out here. Not at all. Kirkland appears to a modern day version of Jake LaMotta - a guy with a dark, or perhaps troubled, side who can absorb and deliver tremendous amounts of punishment. What's more, if he's honed his skill set under the tutelage of a new trainer, Kirkland might indeed surprise Canelo with his ring IQ tonight.
To take things a step further, Kirkland has gotten something here that few people get in world - a second chance. Up until this point, Kirkland has been seen as, well, the poster model for misspent talent. He can change all that with a brilliant performance this evening. Don't think for a minute the man isn't aware of that.
As for Canelo - he knows the Mayweather-Pacquiao era is coming to an end, that sooner and later new stars are going to dominate the sport of boxing, as well as the public's attention. Needless to say, Canelo wants to be one of those stars. Never has this author seen someone recover from an enormous loss the way he's seen Canelo emerge from his schooling at the hands of Mayweather. Seriously, it's as if the guy just shrugged his shoulders and said it's time to move on.
Good for him.
Perhaps the biggest thing to keep in mind before tonight, however, is that both Canelo and Kirkland are entertaining fighters. No one will ever confuse their names with those of Mayweather, Rigondeaux, or Hopkins. These two simply bring the heat every time.
And if they do that again tonight, fans may feel a lot happier than they did after last Saturday's tech-fest.