James Kirkland vs Juan Macias Montiel Preview Dec. 26th
Former middleweight contender James Kirkland of Austin, Texas is back in the ring this Saturday when he takes on Juan Macias Montiel of Mexico. The 10-round bout from Los Angeles can be seen live in North America on the Fox network. Kirkland last fought in November, 2019 when he stopped Jas Phipps in the second round. Montiel’s last ring action took place last December with a split 10-round draw against Hugo Centeno Jr.
Kirkland vs Montiel Betting Odds
- Juan Macias Montiel -115
- James Kirkland -115
The hard-hitting Kirkland is now 36 years old and is best known for his short-three-round war with Canelo Alvarez back in May, 2015 in which he rocked the Mexican put was stopped in the third round after also being dropped in the first. Kirkland didn’t fight again until August of 2019 when he stopped Colby Courter in the first round and then stopped Phipps three months later. And although Courter and Phipps are basically journeymen, it seems Kirkland’s power hasn’t abandoned him after his long layoff.
He enters the bout with an impressive mark of 34-2 with 30 big Ko’s. This gives him a current knockout ratio of 83.3 per cent. Kirkland’s other defeat came by way of a first round stoppage at the hands of Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida back in April of 2011. On the plus side, he’s beaten the likes of Brian Vera, Joel Julio, Alfredo Angulo, Glen Tapia and Carlos Molina. The 5-foot-9-inch southpaw has a 70-inch reach and has fought 116 rounds since turning pro in 2001.
At one point Kirkland was viewed as a rising star in the sport, but he hasn’t fought much lately due to a variety of reasons such as injuries, promotional disputes and legal problems. He would rather stop his opponent than leave his fights in the hands of the judges but his chin hasn’t always co-operated. One thing’s for sure though, Kirkland’s never involved in a boring fight. He won the WBC Continental Super Welterweight Title in 2011 when he stopped Angulo in the sixth round after both boxers hit the canvas in the first round. He also won the vacant WBO NABO Belt three years earlier.
Montiel is 10 years younger than Kirkland at 26, and also carries plenty of power with a record of 21-4-2 with all 21 wins coming by way of knockout for a current knockout ratio of 77.8 per cent. He’s boxed 93 rounds since making his pro debut in 2009 when he was just a 16 year old. His first loss was a four-round majority decision to Rodrigo Escalante in 2010 and he was dropped a nine-round split decision to Alejandro Barrera in 2015 in a shot at vacant WBA Fedecentro Welterweight Title.
He then lost an eight-round split decision to Jhony Montano in 2016 and was stopped in his next bout in the second round by Jaime Munguia. His two draws came with Josue Perez over six rounds in 2012 and in his last bout with Centeno Jr. Montiel is six-feet-1-inch tall which gives him a big four-inch height advantage over Kirkland and he owns a 70-inch wingspan which gives him a four-inch edge in reach. His biggest wins so far have been against the likes of Marco Reyes and Ivan Montero.
Just 10 of Montiel’s opponents have had winning records and he’s won only six of those fights. However, he has plenty of power and Kirkland’s chin can’t be depended on. It’s highly unlikely this fight goes the distance and Kirkland has been caught cold early in fights on more than one occasion. This is a fine matchup on paper at least, and it’s actually a tough call. It’s going to come down to chins and power and nothing will be surprising here. I think Kirkland’s got more power overall but perhaps a weaker chin and with Montiel being 10 years younger and significantly bigger, I’m leaning towards a Montiel victory here.
A tossup, but Montiel’s power may be too much for Kirkland.
Play: Montiel -115 @ BetOnline.ag
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