James Kirkland Highlights OC Fight Night With 2nd Round KO

March 23, 2011

Costa Mesa, CA -  Middleweight sensation James Kirkland headlined a  lively boxing card in Orange County, California on Friday night.  Kirkland, who had just fought on March 5th, knocked out sometimes sparring partner Jhon Berrio at 1:02 of the 2nd Round to earn his second victory in less than two weeks.  The victory improved Kirkland's record to 27-0 with 24 KOs.

Kirkland faced some minor adversity from Berrio (15-9, 11KOs) in the 1st round, before finishing the fight in Round 2 with a body shot.  Kirkland was almost apologetic for the ease of the victory afterwards, noting "I tried to take him into deeper waters...also just to get some more work for myself in the ring.  Unfortunately I just sort of touched him to the body and he crumpled."

Kirkland's 2nd Round KO on March 18, 2010, just a day before his 27th birthday, was only the second fight in his comeback after missing two years in the ring.  His first fight on March 5, 2010, was an even quicker 1st Round KO of unheralded Ashandi Gibbs. 

In 2009, the fighter was sentenced to two years in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm. He was released early in September 2010. The sentence reflected the second major setback to Kirkland's career. In 2003, he was convicted for armed robbery and spent 30 months in jail.

Kirkland acknowledged his past problems and admitted it has been an emotional struggle to start his climb back.  He noted, "You don't hear from people anymore. Nobody really asks how you are doing or cares about you when things like that happen."
Nonetheless, Kirkland was extremely gracious with his time and appeared humbled about being given the opportunity to fight again.  "I am just thankful to God for allowing me to get through some difficult times.  I really appreciate everything that Golden Boy Promotions is doing for me.  I feel so blessed right now to be boxing again."

Kirkland, who came into the fight just a few pounds above the Middleweight limit of 160, appears determined to stay as busy as possible as part of his comeback from a two-year absence from boxing.

After the fight, I commented to Kirkland how surprising it was to see him in action less than two weeks after his last fight, to which he quickly responded, "Don't be too surprised. I'll be fighting again on April 9th.  The fight will be in Las Vegas."  Kirkland indeed is scheduled to fight Japan's Nobuhiro Ishida at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino as part of the undercard for the Eric Morales v. Marcos Maidana fight.

Kirkland's busy "throwback" schedule is very rare in modern times, especially for a fighter of Kirkland's caliber.  Just recently, HBO's Max Kellerman had noted that Kirkland was the only possible threat to the dominance of Sergio Martinez at 160 pounds.  So what about a potential fight with Martinez?

"Well, my understanding is that inquiries were made and that the Martinez people don't really feel that is in their best interests right now, which is fine.  I respect that.  Right now, my managers just want me to get back into the ring, stay busy, and take it slow."

But does Kirkland himself believe he needs a few more fights before taking on top competition again?  Kirkland emphatically refuted that notion.  "I'm ready right now.  I'm capable of taking on anyone.  But I respect the decisions of my mangers and let them make those decisions right now."

When Kirkland does step up the competition, all true boxing fans will be paying close attention.


In  the evening's main event undefeated Golden Boy lightweight prospect Luis Ramos (18-0, 8KOs) survived with an 8-round majority decision over Jose Hernandez (10-5-1, 4KOs).  Despite the support of the hometown crowd, Ramos, from nearby Santa Ana, California, struggled mightily against the virtually unknown Hernandez, whose size and toughness was a major surprise. 

In fact, Hernandez landed several big shots against Ramos, was the busier fighter, and never seemed hurt when Ramos did land.   Nearly all of press row were convinced that Hernandez deserved the victory.  This DSH writer scored the fight 77-74 (5 rounds to 2, with one even) for Hernandez, who appeared to clearly win the last 4 rounds of the fight. 

Nonetheless the three blind mice, otherwise known as the ringside judges, saw a different fight.  One judge scored the fight even (within the realm of acceptable scoring), while another scored it 77-75 for Ramos (clearly missed what was going on). The third judge scored it 79-73 (on drugs, paid, or got the names reversed) reminding us all how absurd boxing can be sometimes.

Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for TheDailySportsHerald.com

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...