Unbeaten Light-Middleweight James Kirkland Will Be Released From Prison In October, Could Fight Again This Year
by James Slater -Before he was sent to prison to serve a two-year sentence for the crime of buying a gun, thus violating his probation, 26-year-old James Kirkland was busy earning himself a reputation as one of the most exciting light-middleweights out there; as well as one of the most fierce. But, for whatever reason, the Texan, who had been convicted of armed robbery back in 2003, bought himself a new firearm and was in real danger of going away for a long long time as a result..
Article posted on 11.06.2010
In good news, it has been reported by Dan Rafael over at ESPN.com, that Kirkland, 25-0(22), will be released into a "halfway house" on October 2nd, and that he could fight again before the year is out. At one point, it looked like Kirkland's promising career could be over. Thankfully, for he and his fans, Kirkland has been given another chance at fulfilling his sporting potential.
Cameron Dunkin, Kirkland's manager, spoke to Rafael and he says his fighter could even be back in the ring as soon as just two months after he's released.
"I think we'll see him in the ring within two months after he gets out, maybe sooner," Dunkin told ESPN.com. "He's been working out. Maybe he'll be 165 when he's released. He's about 173 now. He's kept his weight under control. You may see him six weeks after he gets out."
And while Dunkin admitted it is impossible for anyone to know how the stay in jail/layoff will have effected Kirkland, either mentally or physically, the contender's return to action will prove exciting. Dunkin feels the 26-year-old who last fought in March of last year, when he halted Joel Julio in six-rounds of another exciting fight, will not waste all the hard work he has put into his career, and that he will "look terrific, train hard and do the right things."
If this is the case, and if he can still make 154-pounds effectively: watch out the world's light-middleweights! But could Kirkland, a big 154-pounder, possibly return as a middleweight? Maybe. Whichever weight he comes back at, the Austin man's punch-power is unlikely to have deserted him. The aggressive southpaw will obviously need a couple of tune-ups at first, but if he has retained his skills, the top guys will probably be targeted early next year (if Dunkin's plan of having Kirkland back so quickly comes off).
Before his incarceration, Kirkland, who turned pro back in August of 2001, was closing in on a shot at a major title. Maybe once he returns to the ring he will keep his nose clean and get there this time. One thing's for sure; we can expect fireworks when the fan-friendly warrior gets back in there!
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