“James Kirkland is James Kirkland; I’m the one that put the work in. I’m the one that put the proof in the pudding. So you know when it all boils down to it I make myself. At the same time, you got a trainer that help motivate you and push you to the next level, but overall it’s the fighter that gotta get in there and take care of business.”
As you may have guessed that was James Kirkland(32-1, 28KO’s), Speaking to Thaboxingvoice.com ahead of his May 9th match-up with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez(44-1-1, 31KO’s) at the Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
Kirkland has no doubt been bombarded with questions about his split from former trainer Anne Wolfe just before preparations for the biggest payday of his life were set to begin. He has opted instead to let strength and conditioning coach Bay Bay McClinton take charge of the camp. Judging from his comments above, he is getting sick of all the plaudits from all of his best performances being showered on his former trainer.
By all accounts, Kirkland and Wolfe were a tumultuous pairing at the best of times, so it is no surprise they have decided to part company yet again. It appears their lack of personal compatibility is enough to overshadow their significant accomplishments as a team thus far.
Now Kirkland, who will be coming off a sixteen-month absence from competitive action by the time he steps in against Canelo, is placing a lot of faith in an unfamiliar team. Though again, judging from his comments, he seems to feel that he has enough know-how between the ropes to navigate this storm quite comfortably to make safe passage.
I am unsure of how much experience his new trainer McClinton has in taking the reigns in an event of this magnitude, or even how deep his boxing knowledge is. Will he be able to make subtle adjustments to Kirkland’s technique in lacking areas when he watches him spar? Will he be able to contrive an effective game-plan for his fighter to overcome an increasingly dangerous young Mexican stud?
I don’t know, and neither does Kirkland at this point. On one hand I admire that kind of don’t-give-a-fuck-ness; he feels he can show up in shape with the tools he has already honed and win the fight. Fair enough. But on the other hand it seems as if he may overreach himself in an attempt to show everyone that he as a boxer is not totally dependant on the tutelage of one woman.
One thing we can be sure of though is Kirkland’s propensity to come out swinging, and I can’t see him freezing under the big lights no matter who sits him down in the corner at the end of each round.
“Everybody knows man I’m action packed and when I come, I come to bring it all. And I got a tremendous team, and everyone knows this is what I’ve been wanting, now it’s here, we here.”