By Robbie Bannatyne:
Last night Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’s fists were the defibrillators that kick started boxing’s ailing heart beat as he blasted out James Kirkland over three brutal rounds in Texas.
The fans were promised a war and that is exactly what we got. Massive credit must go to both men who made their pre-fight rhetoric a reality- going to battle bravely from the first bell. The only disappointment was that the fight didn’t go a longer distance than three rounds. Still, any followers of the sport will just be delighted that a big fight finally delivered some excitement, meeting the expectations set by the pre-fight hype.
The positive mood entering the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight was born more out of hope than expectation, whereas the crowd pleasing styles of Canelo and Kirkland allowed for more conviction that this would indeed be a value for money match-up. The opening exchanges between both warriors offered conclusive evidence that our confidence in this encounter would be justified.
These guys came to fight. And although Canelo was forced to weather an early storm from the gutsy Kirkland, it was clear that Canelo had the Texas native’s card marked when he scored his 1st knockdown in the opening round.
As the frenetic pace continued in rounds 2 and 3, the action ended as it began: with a bang. Canelo, hot on the heels of scoring his second knockdown, exploded a thunderous right hand off the chin of Kirkland who crumpled to the canvas, completely separated from his senses. Unfortunately that was all she wrote. Yet it was fitting full stop to a fight punctuated by pain.
Canelo’s comprehensive victory paves the way for a mouth-watering WBC middleweight title contest with Miguel Cotto later in the year. Of course, the Puerto Rican legend must take care of business next month against Daniel Geale, if the Canelo fight is to come to fruition. If Cotto does emerge from the Geale clash unscathed, then boxing fans have their next super fight to look forward to in 2015.
Boxing was given a black eye and a bloody nose by the embarrassing Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao encounter. However, if the Canelo vs Cotto fight gets made, then hopefully the faith of the fans will be repaid and the reputation of the sport restored. Canelo and Cotto’s come forward, offensive styles should guarantee a caustic encounter.
The compendium of attributes they share; heart, courage, power allied to their penchant for high volume punching assaults should return some of the pride to the much pilloried sport of prize fighting.
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s ‘fight’ will always be synonymous with blandness, banality and boredom. A clash between Miguel Cotto vs ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will be characterized by blood and punctuated with brutal knockdowns.
That will keep boxing’s heart beating.