Canelo Alvarez vs James Kirkland: Ann Wolfe's emotional, explosive candor (Video)Written by Joseph Herron
Before the May 9 showdown between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and James Kirkland, much was made about the absence of former Kirkland trainer and co-manager Ann Wolfe.
Although the heralded women’s boxing legend wasn’t assuming her customary role as the Mandingo Warrior’s chief second during this past Saturday night’s main event, the passionate boxing coach was in attendance as a spectator to silently support her former pupil.
The always-candid fight trainer understandably didn’t approve of what she witnessed at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
“This is really disappointing,” admitted a very emotional Ann Wolfe to fight correspondent Anthony Rodriguez of “Tha Boxing Voice” immediately following the third round TKO.
“I still feel for him. I didn’t want to see him on the f**king ground like that.”
“I don’t really talk to him because he fired me, but James needs to do a lot of soul searching with the good Lord. And I’m not going to say ‘I told you so’ or laugh in his face, because that’s not who I am. I really and truly wish he would have won, even without me in the corner. I really wish I could have been proven wrong.”
While the Austin, Texas based fight trainer understands she can’t get in the ring and compete for her fighters, Ann insists a strong presence throughout camp is imperative for success on fight night.
"The fighter is the one who is in the ring, and he’s the one who does all of the fighting, but it’s crucial to have a good team behind you,” states the former four-division world champion.
“You have to. You have to have someone there who’s going to make you do what you don’t want to do. And I make James do what he don’t want to do. I make him uncomfortable. I make him feel like dog-s**t on a stick.”
“And that’s what has to happen. You have to be prepared to fight. You have to be prepared to lose your nuts.”
Though it was never confirmed nor denied by James Kirkland, it was speculated by many that the demanding and unorthodox training regimen, as well as an often volatile fighter/trainer relationship, was the primary reason for the split between the longtime Austin, Texas based boxing duo.
Ann obviously felt compelled to defend her methods in the gym.
“Somebody told me they can’t believe I talk to James the way I do. But when you go out to fight, would you rather be on your mother f***ing ass with your nuts in the air, or have me talk s**t, make you run and get you’re ass whipped in the gym?"
"You have two choices. Either you’re going to fight or you’re not going to fight. You’ve got to be ready to go through hell and high water.”
Notwithstanding the obvious distress that comes with seeing your longtime friend, colleague and protégé get knocked out in the squared circle, Ann was resolute concerning her assessment and critique of Kirkland’s new coaching tandem.
“I don’t know anything about his team, but I give them a mother f***ing ‘F’,” claims Ann Wolfe. “You know why? Because once I knew I couldn’t control James, I would have walked away. Guess what, I don’t give a damn who comes to my gym…if you’re not going to do what I tell you to do, then goodbye…I’m leaving.”
“I would rather leave than to walk out of here like that. You’ve got to love the fighter more than the game and just getting your face on TV. At the end of the day, this is ‘punch you in your face, knock you on your ass and knock all your teeth out’…this isn’t a game.”
Although the 44 year old boxing coach refused to comment on whether or not she and James would ever work together again, fight fans shouldn’t be surprised if they see Ann Wolfe back in Kirkland’s corner as early as November of 2015.