Canelo set to fight James Kirkland on May 2
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) will fight American contender James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) on May 2 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
"The fight is done," said Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya. “It’s the ‘Clash of The Titans.’ Canelo Alvarez is fighting James Kirkland. The fight is signed, sealed and delivered.”
De La Hoya said he would move the fight to a different date if a deal for Floyd Mayweather to face Manny Pacquiao on that date comes off, "out of respect for the fans."
The 24 year-old Canelo was scheduled to fight former welterweight champion Joshua Clottey on December 6 but he pulled out in order to undergo treatment for a persistent left ankle injury.
Initially the Mexican icon was set to meet world middleweight champion Miguel Cotto on May 2 but negotiations fell through after Canelo withdrew from talks when the Puerto Rican was taking too long to make a deal.
Southpaw Kirkland, 30, is a dangerous puncher and is on a five-fight winning streak but has fought only once in three years.
In his last outing, Kirkland knocked out Glen Tapia in the sixth round in December 2013. Since then he has turned down several fights because he was unhappy with the money offered him and he also has had legal problems.
Due to Kirkland's inactivity this does not have the appeal a fight with the likes of Cotto, a rematch with Erislandy Lara, Demetrius Andrade or the Charlo brothers would have had, but it should be an entertaining fight nonetheless.
"We'll probably call the fight 'Explosive,' because that is exactly what it will be," said De La Hoya. "All I can remember is being ringside in Cancun and watching Kirkland destroy (Alfredo) Angulo. So when you have a puncher like that it's always a dangerous fight regardless of how long Kirkland has been away. This is the big fight Kirkland has wanted for a long time and now he has it. "