The Anti Mayweather-Pacquiao: Watch Canelo Alvarez KO James Kirkland

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and James Kirkland ran toward each other instead of away. They didn’t need the help of three judges to decide a winner.

The junior welterweights unleashed a furious barrage of leather for three rounds last night in a fight televised by HBO. Kirkland hit the deck three times. Alvarez dropped Kirkland in the first with a right, and then in the third downed him with an uppercut and, finally, with a looping right to the chin that coaxed a stoppage.

This was a Hagler-Hearns type fight that casual fans hoped for, but Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather weren’t capable of delivering, in the so-called “Fight of the Century” that turned out, rather predictably, more like a track meet than a boxing match. Last night’s fight, which may give Alvarez “Knockout of the Year” honors, stands to diminish the sour taste left in the mouths of fight fans after Mayweather-Pacquiao.

Here are the highlights:

Kirkland falls to 32-2. Alvarez improves to 45-1-1.

The 24-year-old Mexican enjoys more big-money options than any other fighter in boxing. A clash with middleweight champion Miguel Cotto makes the most sense. A rematch with Floyd Mayweather makes the most dollars. And a fight with Gennady Golovkin makes Alvarez fearless.

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