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Join Date: Jan 2012
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New James Kirkland interview
BT: James, what's going on with you, bro?
JK: Hey, what's going on, Ben?
BT: You tell me. I hear you've got some things that you want to get off your chest.
JK: Yeah, man. There's been a lot of rumors going on. Since I fired my team, I'm basically the only one who speaks for myself, you know what I mean? I'm hearing all these different things. "Kirkland turned down $2.5 million." "Kirkland was supposed to fight Alvarez." People don't know...I went to go watch a fight awhile back. It was Bryan Vera vs. Sergio Mora.
BT: The rematch?
JK: Yeah, yeah. I basically went down there to go watch that fight, and after that fight, I've been getting in top shape ever since then. When I heard the rumor that Kirkland is supposed to fight Alvarez, I'm like, "Okay, where's the contract at?" Then they said, "Kirkland turned down this. Kirkland turned down that." I'm like, nah, I never turned down anything.
BT: So what exactly is going on with your situation? I mean, the last time anyone heard anything, you were getting rid of this person, getting rid of that person; there were lawsuits flying around. What exactly is the current status of that whole situation?
JK: I'm basically still dealing with it, you know. As far as the situation with Ann [Wolfe] and the pills that she basically gave me during the Carlos Molina fight, at the time being, you know, you can't really elevate and see where everybody stands on that point because your mind is messed up. You know before you took it, you was 110% ready for the fight, and then after you take it, you're 45% and you're like, "Something's not right." At the end of the day, when I looked at the situation and really analyzed it, I said, "Hey, what does Ann Wolfe gain by me losing a fight?" The more money that I make should be more money that she makes, you know. So maybe, she gave me the pills to benefit me, but instead of it being a positive reaction, it was a negative, but she don't want to take her responsibility and say, "Hey, you know what? I messed up with Kirkland." That's one of those human nature situations. I learned from it.
BT: So is that relationship totally fractured to where you two don't even speak anymore?
JK: After that fight, I had contacted Ann, texting back and forth, and all I basically said was, "Hey Ann, before you gave me the pills, I was aware of everything. I had the best of my abilities. I was ready for the fight, but after you gave me the pills, I felt in a bad way." My timing was off. I didn't feel myself. I felt like I was high, you know what I'm saying? It felt like everything was moving slow. I basically asked her, "What was it that you gave me?" The thing that she told me was they were vitamins. The type of vitamin that you can basically take was B12, but regardless of whatever she told me it was, I looked at it like, "Damn! Why would she give it to me at this time? We never did that ever." Maybe it was something new, because in training, every day is not the same. One day she may say, "You're gonna do this and it's going to be the hardest workout that you're gonna ever do," and the next day, it be something that overrides what she just said. Ann basically made a bad call that night.
BT: Ann wasn't the only person you decided to part ways with. What exactly happened with your management team?
JK: I had to ask myself, "Kirkland, who's going to look out for you if you're not going to do it? You've been hearing your management team, Cameron Dunkin and Micah Miller, telling you, 'After this fight, and after this fight, and after this fight. No Kirkland, you wasn't listening. It was the fight after the fight, and the fighter after, after, after the fight that you was going to get a big money fight.'" When it all boils down to it, me and Ann haven't spoke after the fight, but I told myself, "Kirkland, you have to really study the game of boxing. You have to learn what type of checks is getting paid, who's the one that's giving them, and you got to learn the whole nine, and if you don't, you're just a performer. You're not a boxer, because you don't know who's giving what and what's supposed to be given." Knowing at the end of the day you have a worth and the fans want to see you, then you have a certain price that you're supposed to pay for that. I sat back and I learned it and I realized that, hey Kirkland, you haven't been getting the best that you're supposed to be getting. I know people at 135 who have a better relationship with Golden Boy than I feel I had, and they was making 2 times as much as I was making.
BT: Did you start to take notice of some of these issues when they first started talking to you about the possibility of fighting Canelo Alvarez?
JK: They had a trick for me. I told myself I'm not going to allow Alvarez to get the edge. They told me it was going to be 5 or 6 months before my arm would be prepared for just regular movement, but 2 months after the surgery, they're like, "Kirkland, Alvarez wants to fight. Are you ready?" Are you serious? They basically told me to fight this dude with one arm. I told them, "You know what? I'd fight Alvarez with one arm. I'd definitely do it, but the price has got to be right." The number that they shot at me was a number that they was getting from some beer commercial; something that was outrageously stupid to even offer me. That's not saying, "Kirkland, you have a worth. Kirkland, you're going to get a PPV fight. Kirkland, this is going to be a main event; something that's going to put you on the top. This is going to be a give or take fight and this is what the people want to see." That's saying, "We're not paying you for that. We're just going to give you whatever the concession stand makes." It's like, get the **** out of here. I'm a boxer, but at the end of the day, I'm a business man. I'm not going sell myself cheap when I know that the stakes are high and people want to see this. This is something people been talking about like the Alfredo Angulo fight. When I tell people how much money I made for the Alfredo Angulo fight, they say, "Oh my gosh, you were robbed." It's like, hey, where's my team. The team that I'm supposed to have is supposed to go back and negotiate for Kirkland. Where are they at? Are they just looking out for their best interest because they have other fighters that they can put on Golden Boy cards? If they got other fighters, they'll get their percentage and those percentages will add up, and add up, and add up. If Kirkland fights for hardly nothing, at the end of the day, they make twice as much as Kirkland makes when he gets paid.
BT: So basically, you felt like your team wasn't fighting hard enough to get you the kind of money you feel you deserve for the type of all-action performances you give when you fight.
JT: I'll fight anybody at 154. I'm not ducking and dodging anybody, but my team is supposed to set up those fights. They're thinking that I'm sitting back, getting fat as a hat. They're thinking that I'm just, you know, sitting back and not doing nothing. Don't get me wrong, it's hard to stay motivated when you don't know when you're going to fight. I'll fight anybody. I'm not dodging no Trout; I'm not dodging nobody at 154. They know Kirkland is a do or die fighter; he comes straight forward and he's coming to get it. I don't ever knock nobody's ability. I just know I train to do what it takes, you know what I'm saying, to give it, to push it, the motivation, the hard work, the endurance, the determination, the heart; all that's in one package here. You're telling me you ain't going to give me nothing when I'm going out there and I'm doing it for real. I'm not going out there during training camp like, "Should I run 5 miles? I'm just going to run 1 or 2 and maybe tomorrow I'll think about it." Nah, I'm really out here putting in the work, so you're not going to pay me for my worth? You think Kirkland don't know this and he's not smart enough to understand the game of boxing? So now, when I speak up, they ask me who's my source. When I finally speak up and my voice can be heard and I start firing people, they're asking, "Hold on Kirkland! Who's your source? Who are you talking to? Who's telling you these crazy numbers? That's ourageous. Kirkland, don't think that way. Think small! Always think small, Kirkland." ****, I finally woke up and I let people know.