ALL EYES ON TEXAS MAY 9TH
By TOM WATT on May 6 2015
Now that the circus surrounding ‘The Fight Of The Century” has passed, all eyes in the Boxing World turn to Texas where Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions set up shop next weekend. Golden Boy’s show is headlined by the man who seems the obvious heir-apparent to the Cinco De Mayo weekend top-spot, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who takes on ‘The Mandingo Warrior’ James Kirkland. The PBC show (which previously featured Australia’s Anthony Mundine in a WBC Silver Title fight with Austin Trout prior to Mundine’s injury forcing a re-scheduling) will be headlined by Omar Figueroa vs Ricky Burns at 140 lbs.
For anyone that thought the chess-match that was Mayweather vs Pacquiao was not what big-time prize boxing is about then get ready to see a lot more action this weekend. All of the fighters mentioned above could easily be described as ‘fan-pleasers’ and it’d be a surprise if we got through either fight without some drama and a couple of knockdowns at least. Below we have a look at these 2 fights and what to expect.
Canelo V Kirkland
Just as Vegas was subjected to MayPac Mania this past weekend, Texas is about to once again be on the receiving of Canelo Mania with thousands of Mexicans expected to descend upon the second home of Mexico’s favourite son to watch their man, Saul Alvarez take on the powerful, Texas-born, James Kirkland.
Canelo will be the hot favourite going in and I would be surprised not to see his arm raised at the end of night. Canelo is one of the most exciting fighters in the World at the moment with a lethal combination of speed, power, timing and accuracy that is rarely seen. Coupled with his enormous fan-base he is Golden Boy’s new golden boy and will be atop the PPV mountain for years to come providing he continues to show the desire to win World Titles & put on exciting fights.
Kirkland for his part Has set about amassing his own impressive CV with recent wins over Carlos Molina & Alfredo Angulo (a common opponent for the pair with both winning by TKO) taking him to 32-1-0, with a daunting 28 of those wins coming by way of KO, one of the highest percentages in the division.Kirkland is much more than just a power-puncher though and Holds an impressive 134-12 record as an amateur (in comparison, Alvarez had 20 amateur bouts before turning pro at 15).
The pair may have met sooner had an 18 month prison sentence not halted Kirkland's progression, with Kirklamd being from Texas and Canelo bringing the Mexican contingent, this is an easy sell for Golden Boy and the atmosphere should be electric. I think Kirklamd has enough skill to make life difficult and enough power to make Canelo think but I fully expect a win from the Mexican on Saturday night, a late KO or decision win for Canelo.
Figueroa v Burns
When Ricky Burns lost his WBO World in a UD loss to Terence Crawford he was not short of his critics, especially within the UK. Since then, Crawford has risen to become one of the hottest names in the sport and has since gone about dismantling the top guys at lightweight, when you compare his performance against Crawford to that of Beltran or Gamboa then you can see how much Ricky Burns has in that locker and he feels that he has another World Title in him.
Omar Figueroa is at the other end of his career at 25 years old and the unbeaten Texas native and former WBC World Lightweight Title holder is looking to regain the momentum that took him to his first World Title against Daniel Estrada in August 2014.
Figueroa is a fast, fluid offensive fighter and can hit with both hands, his fight against Estrada showcased his skills, stopping the tough Mexican after receiving a cut on his eye. Burns also loves a tear-up and with neither fighter ever wanting to take a step backwards fireworks are guaranteed to fly in front of Figuroa's home crowd.
Figueroa is the favourite going into this one but Burns is a former two-time World Champion and is hungry to rejoin the elites in the Sport - a win for either fighter will put them in a great position to push for a World Title shot, Burns has a lot to lose here as a loss would almost certainly end any dreams of reaching the pinnacle of the sport again and that will make him a very dangerous man come Saturday night.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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