JAMES KIRKLAND TO FACE GLEN TAPIA ON HBO'S DEC. 7TH SHOW
Press Release: Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's SMS Promotions has signed James Kirkland (31-1, 27 KOs) to an exclusive promotional contract. Kirkland returns to the ring December 7th as part of an HBO tripleheader, facing undefeated Glen "Jersey Boy" Tapia of Passaic, New Jersey. The December 7th card will be headlined by Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Joseph Agbeko, and will also feature Mathew Macklin vs. Willie Nelson in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
"I had a relationship with 50-Cent before he came into the boxing business," Kirkland explained. "We already had a friendship when he got this group together. He can do what no other promoters can do. He's a different type of promoter who can make things happen in and out of the ring for me. It's clear to me that I made the right decision."
Due to legal and managerial problems, the 29-year-old southpaw from Austin, Texas has been inactive since [controversially] stopping Carlos Molina [via unmerited disqualification] on March 24, 2012 in Houston. Molina is now the IBF 154-pound champion.
"James concentrates on conditioning and building strength," Jackson said. "He brings the fight to you and is aggressive in the ring. The crowd loves the action and I'm excited to make him a part of our team."
"I had this great opportunity come along with Glen Tapia," Kirkland spoke about his upcoming fight. "He just doesn't have what comes with knowledge in boxing, but he will know that December 7th. There are different levels of fighting, as they say in the street, and he hasn't fought anybody at my level in his 20 fights. I don't talk too much before a fight but, he doesn't have to worry about being 21-0, because I'm going to knock his ass out December 7th." Tapia also had a 130-4 amateur record and gained experience as Manny Pacquiao's former sparring partner.
Kirkland continued,"The proof is in the pudding. All I have to do is put in extra work and that's what I've been doing. I'm not overlooking him. This is his 'Mayweather' fight. He wants to win and be an exciting fighter on HBO.....that's not going to happen! It all comes down to me boxing at my best; I can beat anybody at 154 pounds or 160, name anybody. Who does what I do? There are a couple of cats at 160 who can put on a great performance but, right now, I'm concentrating on Glen Tapia. Congratulations for him getting this fight but we are at different levels."
In addition to victories over Molina and Alfredo Angulo, Kirkland's other notable wins have been against Brian Vera (TKO8), who just lost a controversial decision to Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., Joel Julio (TKO6) and Eromosele Albert (TKO1).
Although Kirkland will have been inactive 20 1/2 months when he fights Tapia, the explosive Texan doesn't feel ring rust will be a problem at all for him. "A lot of people know that I haven't been on a long layoff," Kirkland concluded. "I've been working hard since the beginning of my lawsuit. Now that things are in motion, I'm jumping right into the mix. My sparring sessions are like fights for other guys."