When Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao made their May 2 mega-showdown official on Friday night, it had a bit of a domino effect. For one thing, it caused the planned junior middleweight fight between former titleholder Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland, set for the same day in San Antonio, to be moved.
On Saturday, Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya announced that the fight would move to May 9 (HBO, 9 p.m. ET/PT) and take place at Minute Maid Park in Houston, rather than May 2 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, which De La Hoya said was not available on May 9.
On Wednesday, Golden Boy made everything official for the bout, which will kick off Alvarez's new HBO contract.
Since his one-sided loss to Mayweather in their September 2013 blockbuster junior middleweight unification fight, Alvarez has won two fights in a row, a one-sided 10th-round knockout of Alfredo Angulo last March and a split decision against titleholder Erislandy Lara in a nontitle bout in July.
Alvarez's HBO deal was supposed to commence with a Dec. 6 fight, but he withdrew to take care of a persistent ankle problem.
The 24-year-old Mexican star will face gunslinger James Kirkland, an all-or-nothing offensive machine with devastating power and questionable chin, in a scheduled 12-round junior middleweight fight.
"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."
Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs), a southpaw who turns 31 in March and is from Austin, Texas, has not fought since stopping Glen Tapia in the sixth round in December 2013. Kirkland turned down several fights and has inexplicably been inactive.
But he said this is the fight he has wanted, and now he has it.
"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."