James Kirkland To Return To Action On Khan-Maidana Card
By James Slater - Currently living in a halfway house and getting back into the swing of full training, unbeaten light-middleweight James Kirkland will reportedly be back in action on December 11th, on the under-card of the Amir Khan-Marcos Maidana clash in Las Vegas.
Article posted on 06.10.2010
ESPN.com’s schedule has Kirkland, 25-0(22) down as facing a TBA up at middleweight in a scheduled eight round fight. Clearly then, after having been out of action and in prison for such a lengthy amount of time, the 26-year-old Texan will need some time to get himself back down to 154-pounds - or perhaps Kirkland’s future lies at middleweight..
It will be very interesting to see who “The Mandingo Warrior” faces in December. The exciting southpaw was just beginning to reach the stage of looking at a title shot, when he was imprisoned for carrying an illegal firearm. Wanting to keep busy now that he’s once again a free man, Kirkland will likely fight again as soon as February of next year, maybe even January - If he comes through his initial comeback fight without any hitches of course.
Whether or not he continues his career as a 154-pounder or as a full middleweight, Kirkland will have a good chance of electrifying the fans again. We don’t yet know who will be training him now (Anne Wolf, James’ original trainer may not come back on board), and neither do we know how much the prison time has affected Kirkland, at least mentally.
Aching to get back in the ring, Kirkland says he can’t wait to fight again. It seems he has retained his desire.
With “Vicious” Victor Ortiz also set to fight on the Dec 11th bill at Mandalay Bay, the Khan-Maidana card promises to be a good night. The latest suggestion is that Ortiz will not be facing Britain’s John Murray (with Murray wisely opting to stay at his natural weight of lightweight), but could now be going in with former WBA 140-pound champ Andriy Kotelnik. A good quality match-up if it’s made, the winner of Ortiz-Kotelnik will be right there in the title hunt.
Who would be surprised if the winner wound up facing the winner of Khan and Maidana next? Kotelnik, last seen losing a close and, he says controversial decision to Devon Alexander, also maintains he was treated unfairly by the judges that night he lost his belt to Khan. Wouldn’t he love a rematch with the Brit? Ortiz, too, would surely relish the idea of a fight with Khan. But will Maidana wind up KO’ing “King Khan” on Dec.11th?
Kotelnik has already beaten the man from Argentina, while Ortiz-Maidana would be another rematch - and who can forget the sensational fight these two had a while back, with Maidana taking Ortiz’ unbeaten record? The 140-pound weight class sure is hot right now, that’s for definite.
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