Knockout of the Yer Gives Boxing Some Much Needed Legitimacy


Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has knocked out  James Kirkland with one of the best punches of the year.

Both fighters were mixing it up early – pressing forward and hammering each other with fast, hard shots. Fans knew early the fight wouldn’t go the distance as both men leaned into their punches, looking for the kill-shot.

The referee was forced to give a standing eight count to Kirkland as he ate some vicious hooks and uppercuts.

Alvarez (24 years-old) knocked Kirkland to the canvas at 1:30 in the first round.

“Once I dropped him the first time I knew I had him” said a clearly delighted Alvarez.

But Kirkland refused to concede the bout, only prepared to relinquish the victory if it was beaten out of him.

Alvarez seemed happy to comply.

Alvarez pushed Kirkland against the ropes with a flurry of stinging body rips and hooks; the last of which sent his opponent to the canvas.

The referee gave him another eight-count and Kirkland rose ready to continue.

Before he could re-gather momentum Kirkland stepped in with a swinging right that whistled as it sliced through the air. That Kirkland’s head wasn’t knocked into the crowd was a miracle. But the brave fighter was unconscious before he hit the ground.

Alvarez began celebrating, but trned back to his fallen opponent when he realised he wasn’t moving.

“At the end of the day you don’t want him to be injured badly,” said Alvarez in a post-match interview. “I was a little worried about him and as soon as I found out that he was OK I started celebrating again.”

Kirkland was rushed to hospital for a CT scan.  The fight promoter, Bernard Hopkins, announced to the waiting media that Kirkland was responsive and cleared by the scan of any major damage.

Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 Kos) had just returned to the ring after a 10-month break. He beat Kirkland (32-2, 28 Kos) who himself had returned to boxing after a 17 month hiatus.

The fight stats show Kirkland threw 197 punches but only connected 42 times.

Alvarez, by comparison threw fewer punches (150), but connected 87 times.

But all he needed was that last one.

After the disappointment of the Mayweather v Pacquao match this fight is just what the sport of boxing was hoping for.

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