By Ryan Burton
Junior middleweight contender Willie Nelson recently told BoxingScene.com that he would love to face James Kirkland this spring. Kirkland has an HBO date scheduled for April 26th and is looking for an opponent now that Damian Jonak has turned the fight down. Nelson isn't the biggest name in the division but has definitely earned the opportunity after taking a series of tough fights.
Nelson's only career loss came against Vincent Arroyo who has also only lost once as a pro. The 6'3" Cleveland native has knocked off fighters such as Yudel Jhonson and John Jackson who were undefeated at the time they fought and in his last fight, he survived a few shaky moments to defeated the vastly more experienced Luciano Cuello (33-3).
"The only thing I take from those fights is the experience and knowing that not every fighter is the same. Like you said, with Jackson, he could punch. I am going to tell you, out of everyone I fought he hits the hardest. He didn't put me down but there is a kid like Cuello who can't really punch but he hurt me three rounds in the fight. I learned that you can't take any fighter lightly," Nelson explained.
The 26-year-old Nelson feels that is the time for him to step up and fight for a title. He said that he feels he has what it takes to defeat Kirkland and that he would rather fight big fights from now on.
"Yeah it is time (to fight for a title). I am basically doing this with just me, my promoter and my coach. We have been taking risky fights and I have been winning them so it has worked.
"I just think I can beat (Kirkland). That's it. I am a competitive guy and I would rather fight the big names than some prospects or has beens. He is the hottest thing out there. He is a power puncher and he brings it. That's why I want him," said Nelson.
Nelson said that he hopes to be back in the ring in April irregardless of if he gets the Kirkland fight.
"We have just been waiting on the call that we get this fight or another fight. I am not one to do a lot of talking but I want to let the fans know that they can expect a big year out of me in 2014. Anyone that wants to follow me on Twitter can find me @Trae_fab_5ive," Nelson told BoxingScene.com.
Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org . You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter Tags: James Kirkland , Willie Nelson