By Keith Idec
Pat Lynch, Glen Tapia’s co-manager, confirmed to BoxingScene.com Thursday that negotiations are ongoing for a possible Dec. 7 bout between Tapia and fellow 154-pound contender James Kirkland.
The Tapia-Kirkland fight, a significant step up in competition for the 23-year-old Tapia, would be broadcast by HBO as part of a tripleheader from the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
The 29-year-old Kirkland (31-1, 27 KOs), of Austin, Texas, has not fought since scoring a controversial disqualification win against since-crowned IBF junior middleweight champion Carlos Molina in March 2012 in Houston. Molina (22-5-2, 6 KOs) was winning that bout on two scorecards, but was disqualified when one of his corner men stepped into the ring before the end of the 10th round, just after Molina reached his feet following a Kirkland knockdown.
The unbeaten Tapia (20-0, 12 KOs), of Passaic, N.J., recorded his most noteworthy win July 12, when he defeated previously unbeaten Abie Han (19-1, 12 KOs), of El Paso, Texas, by technical knockout after eight rounds in a bout ESPN2 televised from North Las Vegas, Nev. Tapia, ranked No. 10 by the WBO and No. 14 by the IBF at 154 pounds, has since stopped 42-year-old veteran Elco Garcia (27-9, 13 KOs), of Ignacio, Colo., in the fifth round Sept. 28 at Bally’s in Atlantic City.
Lynch was optimistic about finalizing a deal with Tapia’s promoter, Top Rank Inc., while he and Tapia are in Las Vegas for the Juan Manuel Marquez-Timothy Bradley bout Saturday. He cautioned, however, that financial terms had not been agreed upon.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.