James Kirkland gets annihilated in one round!
Well, all doubt has been removed and it’s official that James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (34-3, 30 KO’s) is done as a fighter. While appearing on FOX Sports 1, Juan “Juanito” Montiel (22-4-2, 22 KO’s) obliterated Kirkland in the first round.
Over the course of the brief decimation Kirkland went to the canvas on three separate occasions. Despite Montiel winning all his bouts by knockout, most thought that the Mandingo Warrior would at least put up a fight.
Nothing of the sort transpired.
BACK ALLEY BEATING
Before the match could get underway, Kirkland looked dry, soft and uninterested. When the fight began things got much worse in an awful hurry. The once ferocious Texan moved sluggishly, had no defense and displayed absolutely zero punch resistance. In fact, a short and seemingly light left hook sent Kirkland to his knee for the first time. Yet, he found his feet quickly and didn’t appear damaged.
About a minute later, however, Montiel pushed his subpar foe to the ropes with a number of thudding, unanswered blows. Once against that straps the Mexican blasted Kirkland with three nasty uppercuts and put him down with a clubbing right hook. On the ground Kirkland slid around on his hands and knees pitifully trying to find his equilibrium.
Truthfully, he never actually did.
It is true he got back to his feet, but the Texan swayed and wobbled like he was in his own personal earthquake. Ultimately the bout was allowed to continue. Moments later another left uppercut and straight right ended the show. When Kirkland went down for the third time referee Jerry Cantu was quick to stop it.
END OF THE LINE!
Technically this was only his third loss, but all of his defeats have come by way of knockout. Even worse, all of his bludgeoning’s are rather extreme.
The first time Kirkland was stopped it was a shock to the boxing world. On April 9, 2011 the relatively light punching Nobuhiro Ishida got him out in the first round.
Four years later, WBA and WBC super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KO’s) ripped him apart. Like Ishida before him, and Montiel after, Canelo dropped Kirkland three times. At least the Texan stretched his bout with the redhead to the third round. However, the Alvarez knockout instantly went viral and will not be forgotten for some time to come.
Following the loss to Canelo, most thought that the Mandingo Warrior’s winning days were behind him. However, the defeat at the hands of Montiel have confirmed this beyond a doubt.
Not very long ago, Kirkland was one of the most exciting fighters in the game. Now, he is performing like a colorful neighborhood drunk mixing it up in front of your local corner store. Obviously, age, long stints of inactivity and frequent visits to prison have soaked up the last of his fighting prowess.
The best case scenario would see him retire immediately. Yet, with the cruel history of the sport, we are likely to see him back in the ring come 2021. Let’s just hope that wisdom and caution prevail before Kirkland gets hurt in a more permanent fashion.
By: Bakari Simpson