James Kirkland to Land In Las Vegas on Wednesday
DETROIT -- Southpaw junior middleweight (154 pounds) prospect James Kirkland will land in Las Vegas on Wednesday, be picked up at the airport by his manager, Cameron Dunkin, who lives there, immediately be paired with new trainer, Kenny Adams, and begin preparing for an eight-round, March 5 return bout to be held at the Honda Center in Los Angeles, Dunkin told FanHouse on Thursday.
Dunkin was on hand at a press conference at The Motor City Casino in downtown Detroit promoting Saturday night's HBO televised junior welterweight (140 pounds) clash between southpaw WBC titlist Devon Alexander (21-0, 13 knockouts) and WBO counter part Tim Bradley (26-0, 11 KOs) to be contested at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich.
Dunkin said that the 26-year-old Kirkland (25-0, 22 KOs) is relocating from Austin, Tex., and will fight on the under card of an HBO televised bout between Mexico's WBC welterweight (147 pounds) silver belt titlist Saul Alvarez and England's Matthew Hatton, the younger brother of former world champion, Ricky Hatton.
Promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, Kirkland was released from Bastrop Federal Prison, in Bastrop, Tex., in September after having pled guilty to a charge of gun possession in April of 2009.
"James is coming in on Wednesday to Las Vegas. He lands at 10:20 a.m. I could even tell you the flight if you wanted to know that. I'm really exicted about that. We're going to pick him up at the airport. He'll go home with me and then we'll get him over to Kenny Adams," said Dunkin.
"We'll let him work out and we'll have something to eat with him after that. We'll put those two together -- James and Kenny -- and I believe that he and Kenny will be a natural together," said Dunkin. "We'll talk about everything in the ring, out of the ring, and, about life in general. This is about his career in boxing --learning, technique. He's going to have the best trainer in boxing with him, 24/7. I'm so excited."
Kirkland spent time in an Austin, Tex., halfway house, but was pulled out of potential spot on the under card of an HBO televised Dec. 11, main event that featured WBA junior welterweight (140 pounds) champ Amir Khan of England scoring a unanimous over WBA interim titlist Marcos Rene Maidana of Argentina in Las Vegas.
Kirkland was pulled from Khan-Maidana following a November incident that led to a probation violation and his having to spend a week in an Austin-area jail.
Kirkland's violation was the result of his probation officer having made an unannounced visit to the Austin gym where Kirkland was to have been training only to discover that the fighter was not there.
Instead, Kirkland was having a mouthpiece fitted at a dentist's office. After the week-long jail stay, Kirkland spent time in a drug-rehabilitation center in Austin.
After that, Dunkin said that he decided to delay Kirkland's return to the ring until 2011.
Kirkland has not fought since March, 2009 when he stopped Joel Julio in the sixth round. Before his arrest, Kirkland was in line to face Michael Walker in a 10-round bout on the May 2009 undercard of WBO welterweight and WBC junior middleweight king Manny Pacquiao's second-round knockout of Ricky Hatton at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas when he was arrested in April of 2009.
In victory over Walker, Kirkland would have been in line for perhaps title bouts opposite either WBO king Sergei Dzindziruk (37-0, 23 KOs) or then-WBA titlist Daniel Santos (32--4-1, 23 KOs).
"He'll be on March 5 and he'll fight eight rounds. We're looking for an opponent right now," said Dunkin. "That's going to be his start back. Hopefully, three or four fights, and he'll be ready to rock and roll on HBO with Timmy."