Junior Middleweight

James Kirkland Probable Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez Opponent for September 15 Bout

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 23:  James Kirkland poses after defeating Alexis Hloros by second round TKO in their middleweight bout at Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 23, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Mick AkersAnalyst IMay 30, 2012

James Kirkland will likely be Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's opponent on September 15 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. for the WBC junior middleweight title. He would be replacing original opponent, Paul Williams, after his devastating motorcycle accident, according to Boxing Scene.

Kirkland's legal advisor, Michael Miller, told Boxing Scene:

We got that done an hour ago (getting Kirkland cleared by the doctor). Now it's a matter of making sure the risk is worth the award. Richard (Shaefer) and I are working towards a deal as you write this.

The risk Miller mentioned is having Kirkland fight right after being cleared to return to action earlier than expected after having surgery on his right shoulder, as he was originally slated to make a return in October.

With a few replacements that would be considered as legit opponents for Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs) to face next, Kirkland (32-1, 27 KOs) fits the bill and will give Canelo a valid test in the ring.

In a career that has been put on hold two different times due to separate prison stints, Kirkland boasts a solid record and is looking to get the marquee win that will take his career to the next level.

If Kirkland can get his fight game back to 100 percent after hurting his shoulder about two months ago in his strange disqualification win against fellow junior welterweight contender Carlos Molina, he would arguably be Alvarez's toughest opponent to date.

To avoid a disaster in the ring, Kirkland must avoid the slow start he had against Molina and come out ready to give it all from the opening bell, or it could be a bad night for him.

If Alvarez can dominate Kirkland in their speculated fight and show just how talented he is, even bigger foes should be in his future, including the main fighter Canelo wants to square-up with, pound-for-pound king, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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