The highly anticipated mega fight this past Saturday night between unbeaten pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. and superstar Manny Pacaquaio left a lot of fans unfulfilled. The build up for the fight actually out did the fight itself. It really didn’t come to much of a surprise to those who have followed Mayweather’s fights especially recently against aggressive fighters. Mayweather picked up another world title and kept his unbeaten record intact.
The spotlight now will turn to boxing’s next big fight which is this Saturday. Former world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) takes on hard punching James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs). Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas will play host to the 12 round main event with HBO televising. This fight has all the makings of a fight of the year candidate. Kirkland’s style of fighting can almost assure this. Kirkland applies relentless pressure from the opening bell. He overwhelms his opponents with a high volume of punches attacking furiously the head and the body.
There is one major weakness of Kirkland which stands out that Alvarez can exploit. Defense isn’t Kirkland’s priority when he goes on these offensive whirlwinds. Kirkland has been dropped in the early rounds of fights multiple times. It wasn’t a matter of Kirkland getting caught cold but more so of him being careless with his defense. Alvarez is a very sharp counter puncher and could make Kirkland pay for being reckless defensively. Alvarez has really focused on the body of late. This is something that very few if any have fully concentrated on when facing Kirkland. His chin may be questionable at times but has always gotten up from being knocked down.
Kirkland is a southpaw but not a slick one at all. WBA super welterweight world champion Erislandy Lara is one of the slickest southpaws currently in the game. Alvarez had to really work at it but found a way to consistently get to Lara’s body. Kirkland won’t be nearly as hard to find but attacking his body could come with a heavy price. Kirkland is a much heavier handed puncher than Lara and will take risks to land his punches. It will be a difficult challenge for Alvarez. He enters as the decisive favorite but there is no doubt this is a serious fight he will be facing Saturday night vs. Kirkland. This is becoming a theme for Alvarez who continues to seek out the best challenges at or near his weight division. Fans who tune in can expect to be entertained by two fighters willing to engage each other in an exciting fight.