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Canelo Alvarez scores 'Knockout of the Year' candidate over James Kirkland on HBO Boxing tonight

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

To watch Canelo knockout Kirkland check out the video highlights right here!

Nasty, brutish and short.

The fight between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and James "Mandingo Warrior" Kirkland tonight (May 9, 2015) inside Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, lived up to all expectations, cramming intense action and a finish for the ages into three action-packed rounds.

The first round seemed to emphatically deny the possibility of a second as Alvarez (45-1, 32 KO) -- after spending the first minute on the ropes -- reversed position and decked the durable Kirkland with a right straight on the button. That Kirkland (32-2, 28 KO) managed to reach the bell is an impressive testament to his durability as the Mexican sensation ripped away to the body and head until the round mercifully ended.

Though Alvarez opened the second round with some more ferocious punches, Kirkland amazingly began to find his groove with constant forward motion and point-blank, digging blows to the body and head. Alvarez, surprisingly-inactive after his tremendous first round, seemed troubled by his opponent's stubborn refusal to acknowledge the thunderous blows inflicted on him.

As it turned out, he was just waiting for his opportunity.

Kirkland walked into a flush right uppercut halfway through the round that turned his legs to jelly. He managed to make it up and seemed to have his wits about him, only to lower his guard after a body jab and eat the kind of right hand that would get its own splash page in an Avengers comic.

He flopped to the canvas completely unconscious, on the wrong end of one of the most devastating knockouts in recent memory.

There's been talk of Alvarez facing current middleweight champion Miguel Cotto if the latter manages to defeat Daniel Geale in the near future. Such a fight would be almost a guaranteed money maker, putting together two entertaining fighters, as well as a pair of beloved representatives of their native countries in one of boxing's most storied national rivalries.

If Alvarez looks like he did tonight, the Puerto Rican great might be in trouble.

For comprehensive "Canelo vs. Kirkland" quick results and round-by-round coverage of the bout click here.

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