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  Kirkland Surprises Angulo & The Boxing World With Huge Comeback TKO Win & Career Resurrection

By Bret "The Threat" Newton
Photos: Ray Flores

Middleweight James Kirkland (now 21-1, 18 KO's) shocked the boxing world with not only a career resurrecting win, but a comeback of a lifetime, stopping the expected-to-win Alfredo Angulo in 6. The questions of Kirkland's chin from his bizarre first round loss to Nobuhiro Ishida earlier this year would be what loomed in everyone's mind going into this fight. That question would not only be tested, but answered with a reply not many saw coming.

From the opening round, Kirkland was all over Angulo. Kirkland right away pressured Angulo to the ropes, but within 30 seconds a counter right hand from Angulo sent Kirkland down in an instant. The questions about his chin had been answered and this fight was all but over. But, no one questioned Kirkland's heart. Kirkland rose to his feet as Angulo jumped in to finish off what looked to be a finished fighter. Angulo landed everything he could on a staggering Kirkland, but Kirkland was throwing back. Soon enough, Angulo began to punch himself out and it was Kirkland with the upper hand, pounding Angulo against the ropes. Two left hooks and a right hand sent Angulo down this time. And we're still in the very first round!

From that point on, it was all Kirkland. Both men would give good back-and-forth action for rounds 2 through 5, but it was Kirkland dealing the better and more damaging shots.

In round 6, Angulo was barely standing on his own two feet as Kirkland unleashed more combinations against the ropes. Angulo began to take a beating and the referee had no choice but to jump in and save him from further punishment. Final time was 2:01.

Round 1 is a sure win for "Round of the Year". Angulo falls to 29-2 with 26 KO's.

When looking back at the shocking loss to Ishida, although Kirkland went down several times and had bad reactions from punches that didn't have "power" written on them, he did rise to his feet each time. Kirkland only stayed down for the final knockdown as the referee held him down, but Kirkland's heart was very much alive and apparent in that fight as much as it was in this one. Weather or not Kirkland has the chin to withstand a big punch anymore, his heart and courage should never be in question. And with Anne Wolfe back in his corner, Kirkland now has the conditioning to weather those early storms and give hell in return.

On the undercard middleweight prospect Peter Quillin (now 26-0, 20 KO's) stopped Craig McEwan in 6 rounds after an assault against the ropes which many saw a bit premature. McEwan was staggered by two right hands, but still had his guard up when the referee jumped in. The fight was pretty uneventful and awkward prior to the stoppage, yet Quillin appeared to be in command. McEwan falls to 19-2 with 10 KO's.

The event took place at the Centro de Cancun in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.


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