“154-Pounders who Fight like Classic Heavyweights”


From my initial exposure to James Kirkland I was impressed with his conditioning and strength. This fight was exemplary of those advantages, as it was of his disadvantage of having a less than perfect defense and/or chin.  Overall though, the Angulo-Kirkland fight was a pleasant surprise and a relief.  No one could be disappointed in the action nor with the performance of either fighter.  After the first round I was sure that whoever lost–I didn’t know who it would be–both men would improve their reputation.  Not many fighters can handle punishment like Alfredo Angulo, who until this fight had reportedly never been knocked down, as an amateur or a pro.  But not many people hit like James Kirkland.  Fight fans’ collective disappointment in so many expensive pay-per-view flops recently (Mayweather-Ortiz, Hopkins-Dawson) has been assuaged by this all-action testament to boxing.  Loyal fans are validated in their faith in the sport thanks to epic conflicts such as these.  The commentators only just sufficiently did the contest justice: “starting with round one, one of the most extraordinary rounds we’ve ever seen covering boxing at HBO,” “154-pounders who fight like classic heavyweights and provide the kind of damage and action that fight fans most like to see.”  – Jim Lampley. “When the lights shine the brightest too often the fights don’t look like this,” – Max Kellerman  “This should have been a pay-per-view fight because this is what people will really pay their money to see.” – Roy Jones Jr.

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