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

James Kirkland, Jon Schorle
The Associated Press

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.