It was an exciting weekend in the boxing ring as several fighters took steps to move up on the popularity ladder.
Here’s what we learned or didn’t from Saturday’s fights.
Junior middleweight contender James Kirkland has a big heart. He didn’t get discouraged a bit after getting dropped 30 seconds into the first round of his fight against Alfredo Angulo. In fact, Kirkland came back and dropped Angulo with just under 25 seconds left in the first. Kirkland (30-1, 27 KOs) eventually won the fight by TKO at 2:01 in the sixth round for the 30th win of his career.
There are still some questions about him, though. Kirkland’s defense was questionable and he took a lot of shots from Angulo (20-1). It was also the second time in his professional career he was dropped in the first round. That notwithstanding, his power is incredible.
But who will want to fight him now? He battered Angulo, who many consider to be one of the hardest punchers in the world, in his home state of Mexico.
People will be clamoring for Canelo Alvarez (38-0-1) to step into the ring with Kirkland, but we honestly can’t see Top Rank letting that happen. At least not right now. It’s a shame, because it’s clear Kirkland is the guy who could beat Alvarez, who is fighting Kermit Cintron in Mexico City on November 26.
“I put everything on the line,” Kirkland said on HBO after the fight.
He credited his trainer Ann Wolfe for helping him get back on track. “Me and Ann Wolfe stayed up night and day,” he said. “We needed to do whatever it takes to stop [Angulo] in his tracks.
Bute beats Johnson –
How good is IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute? If you base it on Saturday night’s lopsided win over Glen Johnson, he’s great.
Unfortunately, Johnson, 42, is far past his prime. To be fair, Bute has beaten almost everyone he was supposed to. Edison Miranda, Jean Paul Mendy, Librado Andrade (2) and William Joppy have all fallen to Bute. Bute won every round on two of the three scorecards and nine of 10 rounds on the other (120-108 twice, 119-109) against Johnson.
So what’s next? Bute, who many believed should’ve been in the Showtime Super Six, could take on the winner of the final (Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch). Those two will mix it up on December 17 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Quillin stays undefeated –
Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (26-0) won again on Saturday night with a sixth-round TKO of Craig McEwan. It was the fifth straight stoppage for the middleweight contender. But when is he going to get a real shot at a title? Quillin has fought in every back alley in this country. It's time for him to put something on the line.
In fairness, who he fights isn't necessarily under his control. Let's hope his promoters can get the right people on the phone and give Quillin the chance that he has earned.