Serious talks have taken place for a junior middleweight bout that would match WBC beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and hard-hitting southpaw James Kirkland on September 15 in the event that Alvarez defeats former champ Shane Mosley on May 5, according to Kirkland’s co-manager, Michael Miller.
Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 knockouts) must first beat Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs) on the May 5 Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
At the time, Kirkland (30-1-1, 27 KOs) had just begun recovering from this past Monday’s surgery by San Antonio-based general orthopedist, Dr. Philip M. Jacobs, to repair two tears in his right shoulder and jab arm following his controversial, HBO-televised 10th-round disqualification victory over Carlos Molina on March 24.
“They’re talking about maybe Canelo. I don’t mind talking about that. That would be great. We would love to fight Canelo, but obviously Canelo’s got to get past Mosley,” said Miller, Kirkland’s co-manager with Cameron Dunkin.
“But Richard called me last week. He said, ‘I hear that James is going to have surgery, etc., but when do you think that he might be ready to do a Kirkland-Canelo show maybe in September?’”
On Thursday evening, Miller acknowledged that the discussions had heated up.
“When you line all of the stars up, then I think that it’s a very doable fight. So I think that there are serious talks, pending the outcome of Kirkland’s surgery and Canelo’s fight against Mosley. So it depends on several things. Obviously, Canelo’s got to get past Mosley, and then, Kirkland’s got to be ready by then,” said Miller.
“So, I think that in a perfect world, assuming tha the terms can be met, and I don’t doubt that they could, and Kirkland’s back training and his shoulder is fine, and Canelo wins against Mosley and feels like training over the summer and he doesn’t take the summer off, it’s very doable.”
Prior to facing Molina, Kirkland’s previous bout was November’s come-from-behind, sixth-round knockout of Alfredo Angulo, who had dropped Kirkland 30 seconds into the bout only to be floored himself just before the bell ending the same round. Angulo was knocked out for the first time in his career.
Miller said HBO “loves Canelo and Kirkland both, especially the Kirkland that fought Angulo.”
“It would be likely on HBO. I can’t see that fight going anywhere else,” said Miller. “But I’ll leave that up to Richard and the smart boys over at Golden Boy.”
But everything depends on a win by the 21-year-old Alvarez, who has also expressed the desire to face the Mayweather-Cotto winner if he is victorious against the 40-year-old Mosley.
If Alvarez loses to Mosley, then the rematch would take place on Sept. 15.
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos-Golden Boy Promotions
Photos by Jon Elits, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org