Super-middleweight J’Leon Love(19-1, 10KO’s) was with Thaboxingvoice.com recently to discuss the upcoming fight between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez(44-1-1, 31KO’s) and the big-punching James Kirkland(32-1, 28KO’s), set for May 9th in Houston, Texas.
The 24-year-old Mexican is looking to continue the strong form he has displayed since suffering his first professional loss to Love’s mentor, Floyd Mayweather Jr, in 2013. He was scrupulously taken apart by The Master in that fight but has since put together two laudable wins; a tenth round TKO win over Alfredo Angulo in March last year followed by a close split-decision victory against the tricky Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara four months later.
Since turning pro at the age of fifteen Canelo, has amassed a huge partisan and global following that translates into big money match-ups for himself and whoever wants to face him. Love sees him as a representative of the entire spot even at such a tender age.
“He is a face of boxing. Come on man this kid is young man doing things no fighter has ever done I don’t care what you say. What he’s done already has said enough. His talent speaks for itself. He had a chance to fight one of the greatest fighters, Floyd Mayweather, didn’t go out so well but still that’s a young fighter man still growing.”
In fact, Canelo has looked much improved since that loss, apparently set on never chasing shadows again against a man light-years ahead of him. He will not have to look far to find his next opponent though.
James Kirkland, ‘The Mandingo Warrior’, has built a fearsome reputation on his relentless approach to winning his fights; a constant two-fisted attack with no pitty-pat included. He would be a more recognisable name to the general public right now if his career didn’t stall so often. Prolonged absences from the ring due in part to repeated legal troubles, as well as his tempestuous relationship with long-time trainer Anne Wolfe(who will not be guiding him against Canelo) have hamstrung his ability to put together a good run of wins.
You will not often hear or read about Kirkland without Anne Wolfe’s name being mentioned and this is largely due to the fact that she always whipped his behind into unbelievable shape, the kind of shape that enabled him to throw hurtful shots non-stop for as long as his fights lasted. Now they have parted from one and other again, could this conceivably be seen as a walk-over for Canelo?
“Ah shit, you can’t really say. Kirkland is a tough guy man. I’m not sure if he is training with Anne Wolfe, but there was something about Anne Wolfe, she really got him where he is, that’s what I believe. Not knocking any trainer he’s with now, I think Kirkland was better when he had Anne Wolfe.”
I’m sure the man himself may dispute that view somewhat but Love made clear he wasn’t trying to diminish Kirkland.
“Kirkland’s tough, he’ll definitely test your ass.”
So this is what it comes down to; the heir-apparent to the throne of boxing facing off against the troubled ex-con who is looking to prove he can stand alone without the help of his estranged trainer. It is a more-than-satisfying desert for the main meal of Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao that will take place one week beforehand.