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DiBella: If Kirkland Wants Martinez, We'll Do it Any Time

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK — Lou DiBella fielded questions about matching Sergio Martinez against virtually every champion or top contender at 154, 160 and 168 pounds in the aftermath of Martinez’s technical knockout win against Matthew Macklin.

It took more than a half-hour, but someone eventually suggested a name that hasn’t been mentioned much in the Martinez mix. “What about James Kirkland?,” a reporter asked in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

“If Kirkland wants to fight, we’ll fight him tomorrow,” DiBella said. “We’ll fight Kirkland at any time. But if Kirkland wants the fight, he’ll have to come up and fight for the middleweight title. We’re not moving down in weight to fight James Kirkland.”

The 28-year-old Kirkland (30-1, 27 KOs), of Austin, Texas, is scheduled to box against Chicago’s Carlos Molina (19-4-2, 6 KOs) in a WBC 154-pound elimination match Saturday night in Houston. The Kirkland-Molina fight will open an HBO “World Championship Boxing” doubleheader that’ll feature Mexican legend Erik Morales (52-7, 36 KOs) against Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia (22-0, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event for Morales’ WBC super lightweight title.

Kirkland proved during his last fight, a spectacular six-round TKO of Alfredo Angulo (20-2, 17 KOs) on Nov. 5 in Cancun, Mexico, that he has overcome his stunning first-round TKO defeat to Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida (24-7-2, 9 KOs) on April 9 in Las Vegas.

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by richardt on 03-20-2012

[QUOTE=jsfd26;11911708]With all due respect, if Kirkland couldn't take a shot from Ishida what makes you think he can take one from Martinez? Are you gonna blame the trainer or call them flash knockdowns like Kirkland did?[/QUOTE]Kirkland was not in great…

Comment by -GDS- on 03-20-2012

Would love to see Martinez fight Kirkland at 154 with his hands down. Anyways, this would be an awesome fight because it would involve the two guys with the only [I]reasonable [/I]chance at beating Mayweather from 154 down. :boxing:

Comment by ИATAS on 03-20-2012

Kirkland deserves his fight with Canelo assuming he wins next week. Martinez should take care of his own division.

Comment by kiaba360 on 03-20-2012

[QUOTE=SoggyLungs;11910195]kirkland has that type of style that can really give a guy like sergio some problems...the only thing is that kirkland doesn't have the greatest chin. so, it should be an interesting matchup..hope it happens.[/QUOTE] Kirkland's style benefits Martinez. I'm…

Comment by larryxxx. on 03-20-2012

now this would be a fight

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