GORY DAYS: James Kirkland TKO6 Alfredo Angulo

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****

James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo reenacted Stone Age festivities at the Centro de Cancun in Cancun, Mexico, last night over a handful of bloodthirsty rounds. A rampaging Kirkland survived an early knockdown to annihilate Angulo via crushing stoppage at 2:01 of the sixth round.

The carnage began almost immediately as Kirkland stormed out of his corner at the sound of the opening bell and initiated an exchange that drove Angulo across the ring. A counter right off the ropes sent Kirkland, 153, crashing less than a minute into the fight, and Kirkland looked like he was on his way to another first-round KO defeat. But he beat the count and tried his damnedest to survive as Angulo, 154, rained pitchforks on him without relent. On a few occasions it looked like referee Johnny Callas was about to step in to stop the slaughter, but Kirkland remained alert and began to score with a few well-placed counters.

Angulo, meanwhile, began to wilt from throwing so many punches, and, finally, his furious windmilling left him all but swaying. Fit as a fighter can possibly be after weeks of training with Ann Wolfe and her pickup truck, Kirkland, 27, began to hurt Angulo with sharp punches on the inside. With the round coming to a close, Kirkland drove Angulo back and hammered him to the canvas in his own corner with a combination as precise as it was violent. Although shaken, Angulo, 29, staggered to his feet almost instantaneously to take the mandatory eight. Fortunately—or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it—for Angulo, the bell sounded before Kirkland could inflict more damage.

In the second round, Angulo, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, looked as spry as one of the mummies of Guanajuato, and it was a ring miracle that he got through the round without crumbling into ashes. It was a lopsided round for Kirkland, who pummeled Angulo for three solid minutes and completely turned the fight in his favor. Apart from a few clubbing blows and the occasional body shot, Angulo never really threatened Kirkland over the last four rounds of the fight. His wide blows, thrown with the speed of a man who had just been anesthetized, no longer carried any power behind them, and Angulo compounded his clumsiness by fighting exclusively as a southpaw. From this stance, Angulo could not connect with a straight right–one of his best offensive weapons—and could not generate the power needed to hurt Kirkland the way he did in the opening minute of the bout.

Angulo appeared to be fighting on instinct for much of the third, fourth, and fifth rounds, and he was taking the kind of lacing that even De Sade might have turned away from in disgust. Between rounds five and six, Angulo looked like he had been going heads-up with a woolly rhinoceros. He appeared unresponsive in the corner, and as Nacho Beristáin worked on his scrapes and bruises, it seemed clear that a mercy stoppage was in order. Sometimes mercy is the last thing to be found in the ring, however, and when the bell rang to start the sixth round, mercy was certainly the last thing James Kirkland was thinking about.

Roughly two minutes into the sixth, Kirkland, Austin, Texas, drove Angulo against the ropes with a pair of ramrod jabs and followed up with a bone-chilling combination that forced Callas to intervene just as Angulo was about to collapse. It looked like Angulo needed to be pulled–for his own safety–at the end of the fourth, and neither Callas nor Nacho Beristáin distinguished themselves by letting “El Perro” take a whipping. After all, Kirkland was not hitting Angulo with a rolled up copy of the latest Ring Magazine. Nothing Kirkland threw seemed to miss the target: right hooks, jabs, uppercuts, bodyshots, and lefts of the straight, roundhouse, and chopping variety. Showing the kind of determination that can be chalked up to either amazing courage or to just being completely out of it, Angulo absorbed inhuman amounts of punishment. According to Compubox, Angulo, now 20-2, took 206 blows and landed only 74 in return. Indeed, this was the kind of beating that Angulo will never forget or, paradoxically, perhaps, may never remember.

With the win, Kirkland, who improves to 30-1, once again becomes a force at junior middleweight—although the HBO ringside jubilee seemed slightly overboard—and some big names might be willing to answer the bell against him with HBO picking up the hefty tab. Kirkland brawled as well as can be expected against a man who enters the ring wearing a dog collar. He kept his composure when things looked bleak early, worked the body, and fought with the kind of ferocity spectators can only gasp at.

Of course, he was once again dropped and came within a second or two of being stopped. In addition, his defense remains almost exclusively in lockstep with his offense. But never mind any of that. For one night, at least, we should all be celebrating the long lost virtues of the Neolithic Age.

****

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Topics: ALFREDO ANGULO, JAMES KIRKLAND, JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHTS

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  • Michael Nelson

    Hey Carlos,

    Talk about a shit-kicking. On one hand, given Angulo’s power and what happened in the first round, I can understand the hesitancy that Nacho had. On the other, this is the type of beating that ruins men, and this is a sport where tough decisions have to be made.

    Not that it will happen, but I’d be the first to sign up for Kirkland against Carlos Molina. Kirkland’s violent inside game vs. Molina’s know-how and toughness would make for fascinating viewing.

  • Michael Nelson

    Hey Carlos,

    Talk about a shit-kicking. On one hand, given Angulo’s power and what happened in the first round, I can understand the hesitancy that Nacho had. On the other, this is the type of beating that ruins men, and this is a sport where tough decisions have to be made.

    Not that it will happen, but I’d be the first to sign up for Kirkland against Carlos Molina. Kirkland’s violent inside game vs. Molina’s know-how and toughness would make for fascinating viewing.

  • dennis wise

    It was one of those fights where I enjoyed it going 6, but I also wish it had been ended in the first with a better finishing combo from Kirkland on that knockdown.

    I’ve watched that first round a few times (at least). Its hard to tell if the tide turned more from fatigue or from Kirkland’s counter uppercut. It looked to me that Angulo was still throwing well when he got hurt for the first time.

    Hell of a fight. I even enjoyed the call from HBO.

  • dennis wise

    It was one of those fights where I enjoyed it going 6, but I also wish it had been ended in the first with a better finishing combo from Kirkland on that knockdown.

    I’ve watched that first round a few times (at least). Its hard to tell if the tide turned more from fatigue or from Kirkland’s counter uppercut. It looked to me that Angulo was still throwing well when he got hurt for the first time.

    Hell of a fight. I even enjoyed the call from HBO.

  • JohnPaulFutbol

    CA,

    That was quite a beating Angulo ended up taking. You really have to wonder “what the fuck?’ at what Nacho or the ref was thinking. Probably should’ve been stopped earlier. Makes you think about how serious boxing is. But I can’t lie, I love a violent spectacle. And that’s what this fight was.

    How the hell did Angulo punch himself out in under 2 minutes to the point of no return? Once he tired, he didn’t seem to recover at all. Seeing as how he was down there at the Romanza Gym, he should’ve tried to get a little help from that “Memo” chap. I did pick Angulo to win, I thought that with this caveman on caveman matchup that his chin would be the difference. In a sick way it was, hopefully this hasn’t ruined him.

    I noticed that you used the word “inhuman,” that wasn’t about me was it? You do realize that I quit beating up old ladies last year? Just checking. Otherwise a masterful recounting of our era’s Dempsey vs. Firpo.

  • JohnPaulFutbol

    CA,

    That was quite a beating Angulo ended up taking. You really have to wonder “what the fuck?’ at what Nacho or the ref was thinking. Probably should’ve been stopped earlier. Makes you think about how serious boxing is. But I can’t lie, I love a violent spectacle. And that’s what this fight was.

    How the hell did Angulo punch himself out in under 2 minutes to the point of no return? Once he tired, he didn’t seem to recover at all. Seeing as how he was down there at the Romanza Gym, he should’ve tried to get a little help from that “Memo” chap. I did pick Angulo to win, I thought that with this caveman on caveman matchup that his chin would be the difference. In a sick way it was, hopefully this hasn’t ruined him.

    I noticed that you used the word “inhuman,” that wasn’t about me was it? You do realize that I quit beating up old ladies last year? Just checking. Otherwise a masterful recounting of our era’s Dempsey vs. Firpo.

  • thenonpareil

    @Michael Nelson

    Hi MN,

    yeah that was a bad beating. The thing with Nacho is, he’s got to see that Angulo looked like he was blotto for those last two rounds. I was sort of surprised to see him send El Perro out for the sixth.

    Molina is too unknown and too tricky for GBP to throw him in with Kirkland. Golden Boy learned all they need to know about him from the Erislandy Lara fight. That said, I don’t think Molina hits hard enough to exploit Kirkland’s biggest weakness.

  • thenonpareil

    @dennis wise

    Hi Dennis,

    Kirkland certianly put his punches together after the first, that’s for sure…He really smacked Angulo around. I watched the first round again, and it looked like Angulo was very wide with many of his shots after throwing so many of them in a short period of time. I think that might have been from fatigue, although how a professional fighter unravels that quickly is a mystery. Kirkland did hit Angulo with some punches between shots, but, to me, Angulo didn’t look sharp halfway through his finishing salvo. But, it was fun while it lasted….

  • thenonpareil

    @JohnPaulFutbol

    Hi JPF,

    If you love a violent spectacle, you got your wish, buddy. I’m not so sure how much Angulo enjoyed it, though. To me, he look done by the middle of the second round and was just moving his limbs because of instinct. That was a terrible beating and I don’t think even Memo can help him come back from that.

    When you stop heckling me on bigfootencounters.com, I’ll stop secretly referring to you as “inhuman.” Thanks for the compliment, by the way, although I know deep down you prefer Gochimp Nochimp over TCS!

  • thenonpareil

    @Michael Nelson

    Hi MN,

    yeah that was a bad beating. The thing with Nacho is, he’s got to see that Angulo looked like he was blotto for those last two rounds. I was sort of surprised to see him send El Perro out for the sixth.

    Molina is too unknown and too tricky for GBP to throw him in with Kirkland. Golden Boy learned all they need to know about him from the Erislandy Lara fight. That said, I don’t think Molina hits hard enough to exploit Kirkland’s biggest weakness.

  • thenonpareil

    @dennis wise

    Hi Dennis,

    Kirkland certianly put his punches together after the first, that’s for sure…He really smacked Angulo around. I watched the first round again, and it looked like Angulo was very wide with many of his shots after throwing so many of them in a short period of time. I think that might have been from fatigue, although how a professional fighter unravels that quickly is a mystery. Kirkland did hit Angulo with some punches between shots, but, to me, Angulo didn’t look sharp halfway through his finishing salvo. But, it was fun while it lasted….

  • thenonpareil

    @JohnPaulFutbol

    Hi JPF,

    If you love a violent spectacle, you got your wish, buddy. I’m not so sure how much Angulo enjoyed it, though. To me, he look done by the middle of the second round and was just moving his limbs because of instinct. That was a terrible beating and I don’t think even Memo can help him come back from that.

    When you stop heckling me on bigfootencounters.com, I’ll stop secretly referring to you as “inhuman.” Thanks for the compliment, by the way, although I know deep down you prefer Gochimp Nochimp over TCS!