The 24 year-old produced a crushing right hand to completely lay Kirkland out in the third round of their 155lb content, and according to personnel close to negotiations, is now ready to move up in weight and challenge for the WBC middleweight championship.
Asked by HBO’s Max Kellerman if he is willing to face Cotto this year, Canelo stated: “I’m ready for anyone. I don’t run away from anyone.”
The winner of Cotto v Canelo, which should take place by the end of 2015 if negotiations can be concluded, is then in line to face mandatory challenger and two-belt title holder at 160, Gennady Golovkin in another barnstorming match-up in 2016.
“He’s a great fighter and the type of fighter I want to fight, so in the future – yes,” added Canelo on sharing the ring with ‘GGG.’
Kirkland, 31, was left completely out of it at the hands of Canelo, but still seemed to think that he may have recovered given the chance – which for all his good intentions was highly unlikely to happen.
“I left my left hand down and he caught me with a shot. I tried to regroup, but the referee called it off,” he said after the contest.