James Kirkland The Likely Replacement For Paul Williams, May Face “Canelo” On Sept 15th

By James Slater - Naturally, all fight fans are still concerned with the wellbeing and the hoped for recovery of Paul Williams, and to some people the idea of moving so fast in getting a replacement opponent for Saul Alvarez - who Paul would have fought on Sept 15th if not for the ghastly bike accident he fell victim to on Sunday - will seem to be in poor taste.

But the boxing world moves on, and an article on reports how powerhouse James Kirkland, a southpaw like the injured Williams, may now come in as the replacement for “The Punisher” and land the fight.. Kirkland was originally being considered as a challenger for the unbeaten “Canelo,” yet it was felt the right shoulder he damaged in his March fight with Carlos Molina would prevent him from fighting as soon as September.

Now it looks like Kirkland and his team feel “The Mandingo Warrior” might be ready after all.

“God bless Paul Williams. We wish him well. But somebody’s got to step up and take his place,” Michael Miller, Kirkland’s co-manager said to “I would say that we’re at 70-30 in terms of making a deal, or probably 24-hours away from making an announcement. Both sides wanted it…..that’s probably the last, really sellable fight for pay-per-view.”

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said Alvarez is “definitely fighting on Sept 15th,” and that there are three possible alternatives for the unfortunate Williams - Kirkland is the frontrunner. The only problem is the right shoulder. Originally, Kirkland and his team wanted a tune-up fight, around October time, to test the shoulder. Miller told Ring that for his fighter to take the Canelo fight he has to see if the rewards outdo the risks.

“The doctor said that James is ahead of schedule now, so with that caveat, we’re starting to sort of poke around with Golden Boy and see if we can come to a deal,” Miller said. “James wants it, but as manger, you can’t rush it. You don’t want to throw him out there just to make a payday.

“In a perfect world, we can get the thing done.”

If not for the shoulder issue, I myself, as a fight fan and a big fan of Kirkland in particular, would be hoping this fight got made. But what if the shoulder gives way during the fight; the biggest of Kirkland’s career? Will the shoulder even stand up to an adequately tough training camp with a potential 50 to 100 rounds of sparring?

Kirkland would enter the ring against the unbeaten Mexican sensation as a betting underdog in any circumstance; with a dodgy shoulder, the odds would really be against him. That said, Kirkland’s withering power (punching power Canelo has not yet been in against) gives him a shot against anyone he steps into the ring with.

If he’s 100-percent healthy and able to chuck his bombs from both sides, this fight will be a beauty. I wonder who the other two possible alternatives to Williams are?

Article posted on 31.05.2012

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