James Kirkland talks about his upcoming fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
Mar 07 2015 3:45 PM
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Representing the city of Austin, 30-year-old southpaw James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) has built his reputation with explosive power.

His fists have accounted for 28 knockout victories over the course of his nearly 14-year professional career.

A former NABO and WBC ContinentalAmericas Champion, Kirkland bounced back from his lone defeat against Nobuhiro Ishida in 2011 with five consecutive wins, four coming by way of knockout.

Kirkland has defeated Brian Vera, Alfredo “Perro” Angulo and Carlos “King” Molina and most recently handed Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia his first professional loss by way of a punishing sixth-round technical knockout, setting the stage for a war with Canelo on May 9.

Photo Credit: RACHEL McCARSON

Comment on this video

brownsugar says:

I like the way James is talking, he sounds clear, concise and confident without any of his bravado coming off as forced or pretentious, whether or not all that machismo and determination is going to be backed up with 12 rounds of furious fighting is anybody's guess, but you get the feeling listening to James that he truly wants to win this fight, and that he still has the warrior spirit within, … although it's going to need considerable dusting off before he's ready for Canelo. ….If James and his team are successful, I think this could be a very interesting and a more competitive fight than I originally accounted for.

In case you're wondering about the new trainer, his name is Gerald Tucker, he's relatively young, born in 1978 and fought 6 times in the pros after he quit the amateurs. Gerald's record was 5 wins and 1 draw. Before James Kirkland, Gerald's assignment was training rookie pros and young amateurs in Curtis Jacksons (50 cents) gym. You can find a few videos of him on YouTube. I caught a vid of him working the mitts with a young up and coming rookie named Darrell Strayhorn.

I like to see former boxers training fighters, especially young agile trainers who still move quickly around the ring while throwing in a few wrinkles and feints into the mix to keep their students on their toes.

True, the man has no resume other than what I just mentioned, and I'm not hear to tell anybody how good he is, but I'll tell you want he's not, He's not a media hound, mugging and groping for the camera,… desperately seeking his five minutes of fame in the manner that you see with other trainers like the guy who trained Algieri. when you see Gerald, you don't get the impression this guy doesn't know what he's doing, I think Kirkland has been watching this guy work for a while now and he liked what he saw, Gerald is an erstwhile trainer who exudes passion and energy.. you can see his focus and dedication even though we know little else about him… this guy may turn out to be an asset instead of an accident. Just remember this,… even Manny Stewart had to start somewhere.

They say familiarity can breed contempt, I've read elsewhere what James said Anne W., “our relationship isn't conducive to a proper training environment “,

That's understandable, Sometimes it's hard to keep the proper balance between intimacy (the kind that friends and relatives share) and the professional bond between coach and his/her trainee intact. When boundaries cross and expectations are either over-estimated or under-fulfilled things can get messy, disappointments can become volatile emotional altercations .

But Kirkland doesn't seem that he's of a mind to take a break or slack off, …. his intent during the fight is to keep the pressure on, build the intensity from the first to the last bell. Even without the best chin, when Kirkland goes down or gets hurt, (except in one instance) he usually pops right up,… ready to pursue his target into the jaws of hell if necessary to accomplish his goal.

So who's going to get him ready to do that?, According to Bad Left Hook it's None other than world class fitness and conditioning trainer “Bay Bay” Mclinton, who worked 5 years with the San Antonio Spurs during their winning years.
Is all this a sign that the sometimes seemingly unstable Kirkland is ready to leave his inconsistent ways in the past and unite as one with his new team to produce the type of seek and destroy performances (win or lose) that has become his signature trademark? I hope so.

Personally I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt, I think we may see the best Kirkland possible considering his long period of inactivity. Does he win?, probably not, but he does have a punchers chance….. but he will certainly get his career back if he contributes to the making of an entertaining fight.

flackoguapo says:

[QUOTE=brownsugar;77190]I like the way James is talking, he sounds clear, concise and confident without any of his bravado coming off as forced or pretentious, whether or not all that machismo and determination is going to be backed up with 12 rounds of furious fighting is anybody's guess, but you get the feeling listening to James that he truly wants to win this fight, and that he still has the warrior spirit within, … although it's going to need considerable dusting off before he's ready for Canelo. ….If James and his team are successful, I think this could be a very interesting and a more competitive fight than I originally accounted for.

In case you're wondering about the new trainer, his name is Gerald Tucker, he's relatively young, born in 1978 and fought 6 times in the pros after he quit the amateurs. Gerald's record was 5 wins and 1 draw. Before James Kirkland, Gerald's assignment was training rookie pros and young amateurs in Curtis Jacksons (50 cents) gym. You can find a few videos of him on YouTube. I caught a vid of him working the mitts with a young up and coming rookie named Darrell Strayhorn.

I like to see former boxers training fighters, especially young agile trainers who still move quickly around the ring while throwing in a few wrinkles and feints into the mix to keep their students on their toes.

True, the man has no resume other than what I just mentioned, and I'm not hear to tell anybody how good he is, but I'll tell you want he's not, He's not a media hound, mugging and groping for the camera,… desperately seeking his five minutes of fame in the manner that you see with other trainers like the guy who trained Algieri. when you see Gerald, you don't get the impression this guy doesn't know what he's doing, I think Kirkland has been watching this guy work for a while now and he liked what he saw, Gerald is an erstwhile trainer who exudes passion and energy.. you can see his focus and dedication even though we know little else about him… this guy may turn out to be an asset instead of an accident. Just remember this,… even Manny Stewart had to start somewhere.

They say familiarity can breed contempt, I've read elsewhere what James said Anne W., “our relationship isn't conducive to a proper training environment “,

That's understandable, Sometimes it's hard to keep the proper balance between intimacy (the kind that friends and relatives share) and the professional bond between coach and his/her trainee intact. When boundaries cross and expectations are either over-estimated or under-fulfilled things can get messy, disappointments can become volatile emotional altercations .

But Kirkland doesn't seem that he's of a mind to take a break or slack off, …. his intent during the fight is to keep the pressure on, build the intensity from the first to the last bell. Even without the best chin, when Kirkland goes down or gets hurt, (except in one instance) he usually pops right up,… ready to pursue his target into the jaws of hell if necessary to accomplish his goal.

So who's going to get him ready to do that?, According to Bad Left Hook it's None other than world class fitness and conditioning trainer “Bay Bay” Mclinton, who worked 5 years with the San Antonio Spurs during their winning years.
Is all this a sign that the sometimes seemingly unstable Kirkland is ready to leave his inconsistent ways in the past and unite as one with his new team to produce the type of seek and destroy performances (win or lose) that has become his signature trademark? I hope so.

Personally I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt, I think we may see the best Kirkland possible considering his long period of inactivity. Does he win?, probably not, but he does have a punchers chance….. but he will certainly get his career back if he contributes to the making of an entertaining fight.[/QUOTE]

Cant disagree with any of this B-sugar,, and all very well said. But there seems to be a chemistry between Wolfe and Kirkland that unleashes Kirklands fighting spirit to its utmost. Fighting spirit, cojones, warrior within, the umphh, whatever people want to call it, Wolfe seems to know the buttons for Kirkland. That combined with his style makes for an always more dangerous Kirkland IMO.. Not to say that this trainer cant take Kirkland far. I am not underestimating Kirkland at all and think he beats Canelo 3 times out of 10.. One reason because Canelo gets in exchanges off balance and Kirkland has true KO power.Both guys deserve credit for taking the fight and getting it done.

brownsugar says:

[QUOTE=flackoguapo;77196]Cant disagree with any of this B-sugar,, and all very well said. But there seems to be a chemistry between Wolfe and Kirkland that unleashes Kirklands fighting spirit to its utmost. Fighting spirit, cojones, warrior within, the umphh, whatever people want to call it, Wolfe seems to know the buttons for Kirkland. That combined with his style makes for an always more dangerous Kirkland IMO.. Not to say that this trainer cant take Kirkland far. I am not underestimating Kirkland at all and think he beats Canelo 3 times out of 10.. One reason because Canelo gets in exchanges off balance and Kirkland has true KO power.Both guys deserve credit for taking the fight and getting it done.[/QUOTE]

Totally agree Flackoguapo, Anne Wolfe may be able to get the best out of Kirkland, but even though we haven't been given the dirty details, there is obviously some disfunctionality in the relationship.

To use a romantic analogy, …do you you keep the plain jane chick who goes to work every day, can be trusted and is good with your family or do you keep the trophy piece who is passionately erotic but gets the police called to your house every week because she cant hold her liquor. Prompting her man to check her cell phone daily and to post up on rooftops with a sniper rifle every time she leaves the house on her own. Most guys would say the trophy gets more out of him but isnt worth the trouble.
For some reason James sounds like he feels it isnt worth the trouble. Maybe he will tell us why someday.

ericfarrell85 says:

I give Canelo heaps of credit for taking this fight. It's a character tell in my opinion, just as the Lara fight was. This guy just wants to fight and someone else in his position, would more likely avoid the high-risk, low-reward Kirkland. Canelo vs GGG seems an inevitability when one thinks about Canelo and his fighting disposition + the lucrative stakes.

flackoguapo says:

[QUOTE=brownsugar;77218]Totally agree Flackoguapo, Anne Wolfe may be able to get the best out of Kirkland, but even though we haven't been given the dirty details, there is obviously some disfunctionality in the relationship.

To use a romantic analogy, …do you you keep the plain jane chick who goes to work every day, can be trusted and is good with your family or do you keep the trophy piece who is passionately erotic but gets the police called to your house every week because she cant hold her liquor. Prompting her man to check her cell phone daily and to post up on rooftops with a sniper rifle every time she leaves the house on her own. Most guys would say the trophy gets more out of him but isnt worth the trouble.
For some reason James sounds like he feels it isnt worth the trouble. Maybe he will tell us why someday.[/QUOTE]

haha I love it and so true. There seems to be a lingering dysfunction, and for them not to get together for this big a fight speaks louder than anything they can say.

Lol Why can't life throw us a wrinkle once in a while and have a plain Jane be passionately erotic? I guess just as experience is needed in the ring, a plain Jane doesn't get the rounds in needed to have the skills that pay the bills

flackoguapo says:

[QUOTE=brownsugar;77218]Totally agree Flackoguapo, Anne Wolfe may be able to get the best out of Kirkland, but even though we haven't been given the dirty details, there is obviously some disfunctionality in the relationship.

To use a romantic analogy, …do you you keep the plain jane chick who goes to work every day, can be trusted and is good with your family or do you keep the trophy piece who is passionately erotic but gets the police called to your house every week because she cant hold her liquor. Prompting her man to check her cell phone daily and to post up on rooftops with a sniper rifle every time she leaves the house on her own. Most guys would say the trophy gets more out of him but isnt worth the trouble.
For some reason James sounds like he feels it isnt worth the trouble. Maybe he will tell us why someday.[/QUOTE]

haha I love it and so true. There seems to be a lingering dysfunction, and for them not to get together for this big a fight speaks louder than anything they can say.

Lol Why can't life throw us a wrinkle once in a while and have a plain Jane be passionately erotic? I guess just as experience is needed in the ring, a plain Jane doesn't get the rounds in needed to have the skills that pay the bills

flackoguapo says:

[QUOTE=ericfarrell85;77231]I give Canelo heaps of credit for taking this fight. It's a character tell in my opinion, just as the Lara fight was. This guy just wants to fight and someone else in his position, would more likely avoid the high-risk, low-reward Kirkland. Canelo vs GGG seems an inevitability when one thinks about Canelo and his fighting disposition + the lucrative stakes.[/QUOTE]

Yup. Canelo seems to be willing for all big fights, even ones going against the risk-value model. He should keep this up and he will be remembered as a fighter who truly went after greatness. He still has a ways to go but he is acting the part so far!

Radam G says:

The half Texas cowboy, half Mandingo Warrior is going to get tore up. He need Anne Wolfe like white on rice. Cold on ice. a mask on disguise. Talk is cheap. JK has gone from making a big leap to be a sidewalk-crazy creep. Holla!

Skibbz says:

Agreed with most of the points. Viva el Rey Saul for once again fighting any and all. He wants the best fights and he will take whoever challenges him on.

GGG is a step too far in my opinion, I would love to see the fight but not see Canelo get beaten up bad. Who knows we might learn something more about him in that fight…