Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Kirkland Not Overly Concerned With Layoff or Tapia

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK — James Kirkland isn’t worried about his 20-month layoff or his young, hungry, unbeaten opponent.

With so many questions to answer in his first fight since March 2012, the powerful southpaw from Austin, Texas, is anxious to prove against Glen Tapia on Saturday night in Atlantic City that he remains one of the best junior middleweights in boxing.

“I’m not really concerned about it,” Kirkland told BoxingScene.com regarding his long layoff. “I just know we put in the work. I’ve been training since the layoff. I’m prepared, ready to get it in and I want to see what he’s going to bring to the table.”

Legal and promotional issues mostly have prevented Kirkland from competing since he defeated Chicago’s Carlos Molina by disqualification 20 months ago in Houston. But after rekindling his on-again, off-again partnership with trainer Ann Wolfe during training camp for the Tapia fight, Kirkland (31-1, 27 KOs) is confident he’ll re-establish himself in the 154-pound division.

His 10-round fight against Tapia (20-0, 12 KOs), of Passaic, N.J., will be one of three televised by HBO from the Adrian Phillips Ballroom inside Boardwalk Hall.

“I understand he’s never been stopped,” Kirkland said. “But I know he’s never been in that type of deep water against a fighter like me. He’s trying to raise his stock up. He’ll get to see why I’m James Kirkland. I’m definitely ready.”

Kirkland’s pulverizing power, defensive flaws and questionable chin have made him one of boxing’s most unpredictable, fascinating fighters.

He got dropped three times and stopped in the first round of what was supposed to be a tune-up fight against light-punching Japanese veteran Nobuhiro Ishida (25-9-2, 10 KOs) in April 2011. In his next fight, Kirkland displayed remarkable resolve by surviving a first-round knockdown and stopping Mexican brawler Alfredo Angulo (22-3, 18 KOs) in the sixth round of a November 2011 slugfest in Cancun.

The 29-year-old Kirkland expects comparable drama against the tough, talented Tapia, who hasn’t faced an opponent as dangerous or accomplished as Kirkland during his five-year pro career.

“I believe this is going to be one of those fights that’s definitely going to be a crowd-pleaser,” said Kirkland, who’ll fight for the first time Saturday night since signing with rapper 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions. “Everybody’s going to be up and everybody’s going to be on the edge of their chairs. He throws combinations, I throw combinations, I throw hurtful shots. I do it all. So I’m definitely going to want to show the boxing world that Kirkland’s still here and I’m here to stay.”

Kirkland respects Tapia, who’ll turn 24 next week, but doesn’t think the fan-friendly contender will withstand his power.

“Tapia does it all,” Kirkland said. “He boxes, he can bang, he can move. But he’s never fought a left-hander like me and he’s never been touched with this type of power. I believe that my skills, my power and my determination is going to override everything.”

The Kirkland-Tapia fight will be the second of three HBO bouts Saturday night. The telecast is set to start at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT with a 10-round middleweight match that’ll send England’s Matthew Macklin (29-5, 20 KOs) against Lamar Russ (14-0, 7 KOs), of Wilmington, N.C. In the main event, unbeaten Cuban southpaw Guillermo Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KOs) will defend his WBA and WBO super bantamweight championships against Ghana’s Joseph Agbeko (29-4, 22 KOs).

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.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by mshap on 12-07-2013

Kirkland gets completely outclassed and stopped late....

Comment by thiefery on 12-07-2013

Kirkland wins this within 4 rounds

Comment by Southpawology on 12-07-2013

Love kirklands style and hes a lefty so im rocking out with him, will admit though ive never seen tapia fight.

Comment by Cuban Linx on 12-07-2013

I love watching Kirkland fight, he always brings it. This should be a great fight, but I have Kirkland by KO.

Comment by _original_ on 12-07-2013

Don't know too much about Tapia, but Kirkland is an exciting fighter so I'm hoping for a barn burner before Rigo puts on another beautiful sweet science showcase.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (24)
Top Headlines Parker's Promoter Sees Tyson Fury as a Camp Boost For Joshua Malignaggi Warns: Horn Will Not Be That Easy For Crawford Barthelemy Takes Advantage of Delayed Date For Relikh Title Fight Nico Hernandez vs. Jozsef Ajtai Set For February 10 Miguel Cotto, Golden Boy Announce Series of Shows at PR Presser IBF Goes Through Some Changes To Start Off The New Year The Contender is Officially Coming Back in 2018 - On EPIX Photos: Ryota Murata, Emanuele Blandamura - Go Face To Face Spence: If Anybody Saw Flaws They Can Capitalize On - Call Al! Parker: Joshua Doesn't Take Criticism Well, I'll Smile at His Punches Otto Wallin Assures That Adrian Granat Showdown Will Happen Errol Spence on Keith Thurman: I'm Gonna Smoke Him Easy! Weekend Review: Spence Impressive, Easter Struggles, More Javier Fortuna: I'll Go to Easter's Hometown to Get My Rematch Spence: 'I Have No Idea' if Garcia Would Fight Me Next; Ask Him! Errol Spence vs. Lamont Peterson: Afterthoughts Usyk Training Very Hard, Calls Briedis His "Biggest Challenge" Yet Jamie Moore Talks Shooting, Recovery, Frampton-Donaire Anthony Joshua Plans To Be Quicker, Aims To Crack Parker's Chin Jayson Mama Wins WBO Regional Belt With TKO Victory Cesar Barrionuevo Blasts Out Adrian Veron in One Round Andy Lee, O'Sullivan Both Ready To Face Daniel Jacobs Ryota Murata vs. Emanuele Blandamura on April 15 in Japan Errol Spence - 'The Truth' About Ambition Shannon Briggs: After I Beat Fury, They Must Give Me Title Shot! Mares on Santa Cruz Rematch, Valdez-Quigg, Frampton-Donaire Petit vs. Kasmi Ends in Violence After Riot Erupts - Video Joshua Admits That Parker's Steroid Taunts Got Under His Skin DiBella Doubts Arum Wants to Put Crawford in With Spence Now Anthony Joshua Explains Why He's in No Rush To Fight in America Joseph Diaz: I Want To Beat Gary Russell, Unify 126 By 2019 Gilberto Ramirez Would Travel to UK For Groves, Eubank, Smith Parker's Promoter: Exposing Joshua's Glass Jaw Got Us The Fight Porter: Spence Isn't an Option Next; I'm Not Ranked By the IBF Kiram is Inspired By Sor Rungvisai To Shock Lucas Matthysse Marcus Browne: I Need a World Title Shot, I'll Face Any Champ! Photos: Robert Easter Survives Close Call With Javier Fortuna Alexander: If Victor Ortiz Lasts Seven Rounds - I'll Be Surprised Photos: Errol Spence Gives Lamont Peterson a Vicious Beating Joe Joyce on Daniel Dubois: I Don't Think He Really Wants It!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement