By Rick Reeno
As BoxingScene.com reported on Thursday afternoon, a deal is close to match undefeated junior middleweight contender Glen Tapia (20-0, 12 KOs) against dangerous James Kirkland (31-1, 27 KOs) on December 7th at the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Tapia-Kirkland would be part of the HBO televised card which features WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux in the main event against Joseph Agbeko.
Kirkland, who went through a variety of legal problems in the last few years, has been inactive since a controversial disqualification win over Carlos Molina in March 2012. Tapia had a very impressive win on July 12th with an ESPN televised TKO over previously unbeaten Abie Han (19-1, 12 KOs), and then returned on September 28th to score a fifth round TKO over Elco Garcia (27-9, 13 KOs).
Tapia loves a good fight and seems eager to trade punches with Kirkland.
"I love the way he fights. He goes in there to knock your head off, a little bit like me. It will be the perfect fight. He's the perfect guy for me," Tapia told BoxingScene.com. "He's smart. He's not stupid. He doesn't just go in there and throws punches, he's smart. He has a strong punch. It could be [the fight to send me to the top at 154], if I show everybody that I'm here and that's what I'm here to do. I want to show everybody that I'm a little more than just an average boxer."
The high contact style of Tapia has many of the New Jersey fans comparing the up and coming fighter to the late Arturo Gatti. Tapia is managed by Pat Lynch, who also guided the career of Gatti. The comparisons by his hometown fans is not something that adds more pressure on the shoulders of Tapia.
"There is no [additional pressure on me] at all. I feel honored to be in the same category as him, but other than that I feel no pressure at all. I'm ready for what's coming," Tapia said.