Saul “Canelo” Alvarez had a good campaign in 2015, entering the year with much to prove and still seeking that big win that had eluded him in his career. On May 9, following the disappointment of the mega fight between Mayweather vs Pacquiao on May 2, it was Canelo’s turn to bring some excitement back to boxing after a five-year wait for a fight that didn’t produce much action in the ring.
Canelo delivered in showcasing himself as one of the biggest stars in boxing with over 31,000 pro-Canelo fans at the Minute Maid Park in Houston. The opponent was a perfect one in James Kirkland a brawler from Texas. There was no feeling out process at the start of this fight as Kirkland immediately wanted to test Canelo’s grit. The first round was memorable that produced two-way action until Canelo unleashed brutal combinations to the head and body, dropping Kirkland at the end of the opening round.
The end was inevitable thereafter; Kirkland just couldn’t handle the speed and sharpness of Canelo’s punches. Kirkland would get dropped again in the third round with a beautiful uppercut. James would bravely get up to beat the count as Canelo went back on the attack throwing a jab to the body followed by a devastating right hand on the chin of Kirkland with Canelo dipping a Kirkland left hand in the process as Kirkland would spin and fall flat on his back ending the bout.
Canelo’s KO over Kirkland is TBV’s writing staff “KO of the year.” Canelo would go on to win the Lineal and WBC middleweight title with a clear-cut win over Miguel Cotto this past November finally getting that big win he craved. Congratulations to Canelo Alvarez.
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Some of the picks may not line up with those announced on TBV’s live radio show/podcast, this is both intentional and inevitable. The voting panel was made up of a completely different set of panelist compared to that of the show (with the exception of one voter). The voting process was comprised of a point system based on a multi-selection ballot.