James Kirkland has been out the ring since December of 2013 where he stopped Glen Tapia in a thrilling fight. Since then Tapia has gone onto fight twice with an upcoming fight this weekend. Kirkland has been on the shelf for whatever reason. But fortune might have it for Kirkland that Miguel Cotto took his time in the Canelo Alvarez negotiations leading to a big money fight landing on Kirkland’s lap in his home state of Texas in Houston
Kirkland speaking with the media at the kick-off fight presser said, “I love the fight being so closed to home. I get friends and family next door, and everybody’s coming out to support.”
Last time Alvarez fought in Texas, he packed the Alamodome with 40,000 fans. The fight will take place in Minute Maid Park, and Kirkland knows that Canelo will have most of the crowd.
“He’s going to have a bigger following, a lot of Hispanics; they love the sport,” stated Kirkland. “He’ll have a bigger fan base but overall I’m going to bring the fight and take care of business.”
Bringing the business will involve not doing it with his synonymous trainer Ann Wolfe and instead going at it with Gerald Tucker. Plenty of people were shocked at suck a development, but Kirkland said it’s not just about the trainer, it’s the entire team.
“At this particular time everyone wants to know about Ann Wolfe,” said Kirkland, “if I want to be able to beat Alvarez, I have to bring a whole lot more to the kitchen. Nothing against Ann Wolfe, she’s a great trainer, but I needed more at the table.”
Past photos of Kirkland have showed that maybe he was at the table too much during the holidays but at the presser he looked like he was ready to train and this training camp might not be a weight loss training camp with his new team
“Everybody said I was 210, 10000 lbs., but now you can see I’m not,” said a joking Kirkland. “I went to Google. I did my research. I got my great support team. I see a fighter (Alvarez) who likes to throw a lot of punches. He has power in both hands. He’s going to be sharp. He’s going to be bringing a lot of things to the table.
In terms of a prediction of the fight, Kirkland says to expect a war.
“I don’t have any prediction for the fight. You wanted a combat fight, you wanted a fight with aggression, you wanted a fight where people could be battered and bruised, and this is the fight.”