Though Canelo had to ultimately concede the Cinco de Mayo fight date to May-Pac, he's still primed for his rescheduled fight against James Kirkland on May 9th.
After the May-Pac announcement, Oscar really had no other choice but to reschedule Canelo's bout for the following weekend, a fight that will now take place at Minute Maid Park in Houston on May 9th, as opposed to the Alamodome in San Antonio (due to a scheduling conflict). The fight will still be televised on HBO and should undoubtedly be a nice tussle for the fans.
Despite losing out on the date he wanted so badly, Canelo hasn't been deterred from what he expects to accomplish, and is putting on his best promoter's hat.
"I'm very happy that my upcoming fight with James Kirkland will air on HBO; it will be exciting, explosive and should not be missed," Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) said in announcing the bout. "Kirkland is a dangerous fighter who is coming prepared for a tough night, and this fight, without a doubt, will be one to remember. I promise my fans I will be victorious and invite everyone to come out and join us at Minute Maid Park on May 9. They will not be disappointed."
The ever-erratic Kirkland has been out of action since his epic thrashing of Glen Tapia back in December 2013. He had some opportunities to fight since then, but turned them down, got into spats with his promoter, trainer, and the rest of his team (once again), and just continued making curious decisions that even his own attorney has publicly questioned. Nevertheless, he say's this is the opportunity he's always wanted.
"This is the fight I've been waiting for," Kirkland said. "Canelo is the opponent I get asked about more than any other fighter. I'm ready to show my skills to the world and shut down the people who doubt me. Come fight night you will see a great fight between two warriors and I know at the end of the night my hand will be raised in victory."
Interestingly enough, Kirkland has had the opportunity to fight Canelo before, and walked away from the offer, so I can't really understand why he's now saying this is the fight he's been waiting for. The real elephant in the room, however, is that he's once again fired Ann Wolfe as his trainer - really an unconscionable decision in my mind. As much as I love watching James Kirkland, and I really LOVE his fights, I think this single decision ruined any chance of him getting a win here.
Whether or not it's their familiarity with each other, her brutally hellish training camps, or simply her ability to push him in a way no one else can - it's readily apparent that he's just a completely different man in the ring when she's in his corner (and in a good way). He told the world after the Tapia win that he would never leave Ann Wolfe again and that they would ride until the wheels fell off, only to find out that he's instead opted to preemptively rotate those wheels out altogether. The man is indeed an enigma.
So now James has turned to Angel "Memo" Heredia to be his head trainer for the biggest fight of his career. While Heredia is a well known (and infamously known) strength & conditioning coach, he's really not a "boxing guy." He's worked with other fighters before, but usually just in the capacity of getting them in great physical condition. He's not going to teach James anything about boxing to improve his technique or approach, and I can't see Memo coming up with any real game plan in the corner to guide James to victory. I'll still be rooting for James (mostly for nostalgic reasons) but I don't delude myself into thinking we're going down a good path here.