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Miguel Cotto Vs James Kirkland: Storm Brewing in Boxing

By Geno McGahee

Last Saturday’s gutsy come from behind knockout win for James Kirkland, 30-1, 27 KO’s, has given the boxing fans a glimmer of hope for the sport that they love. The courageous Alfredo Angulo did what he could to fend off Kirkland, but there is a moment when a fighter comes in and there is no way that they will lose. That is what he was facing and that beast is something that the light middleweight division will have to cope with.

The immediate match up would be with Miguel Cotto, 36-2, 29 KO’s, the current WBA Champion, and should he get beyond Antonio Margarito, in a highly anticipated rematch, we may see a fight with Kirkland materialize. Cotto has only lost to the pound for pound best in the game, Manny Pacquiao, and to Margarito under very questionable circumstances. Kirkland being so aggressive with Cotto would make a huge event for the boxing fans and the judges could take the night off. It would be a war.

Another option for Kirkland is Saul Alvarez, 38-0-1, 28 KO’s. Alvarez can fill a stadium, is a huge draw for Mexican fans, and has been spotless thus far in his career, but he has also been relatively untested. In a few weeks, he takes on the former welterweight champion, Kermit Cintron in a good match up, but the only thing that Cintron may bring at this point is that “puncher’s chance.” Should Alvarez overcome Cintron, and he most likely will, Kirkland vs. Alvarez would be an incredibly hot ticket.

With the destruction of Mexican Angulo, there may be a good storyline with Alvarez coming to the aid of a fallen countryman, and if this bout is held in Mexico, there would have to be a stadium built to fit all of the people. It is a fight that the HBO commentary team mentioned and it may just be brewing, unless Cintron pulls off the upset with that big right hand.

Another option, but certainly not as attractive, is Cornelius Bundrage, 31-4-2, 18 KO’s. The IBF Champion has earned his way into this spot, but he hasn’t been spectacular. He has put together three wins since a split decision loss to Grady Brewer and is looking for “the fight” to make him some money. His title may just entice Kirkland and make this bout happen.

If Antonio Margarito defeats Cotto, then that opens up a Kirkland – Margarito match and that is another good sale. The cheating ways of Margarito have made him more popular. Every sport needs villains and we have a good one here and if he beats Cotto, Kirkland would be a good match for him and a draw for boxing fans.

Other fighters are still lingering around the 154 pound division like Paul Williams, 40-2, 27 KO’s, Erislandy Lara, 15-1, 10 KO’s, and Vanes Martirosyan, 31-0, 19 KO’s. There are plenty of potential matches for the rejuvenated Kirkland, a man that not only redeemed himself but also redeemed the sport after the Ortiz/Mayweather and Hopkins/Dawson fiascos.

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