Lem Satterfield

Lem’s latest: Kirkland’s surgery; Alvarez’s plans after Mosley


Southpaw junior middleweight James Kirkland is recovering after Monday’s approximately 45 minute-long surgery to repair two tears in his jab arm — the right shoulder — following his controversial, HBO-televised 10th-round disqualification victory over Carlos Molina on March 24 at the Reliant Arena in Houston, Tex.

“Everything went fine. There were no surprises. The doctor was able to do the two cuts and the little tears pretty easily,” said attorney Michael Miller, Kirkland’s co-manager with Cameron Dunkin.

Miller said that the operation was conducted by San Antonio-based general orthopedist, Dr. Philip M. Jacobs, a shoulder and sports medicine specialist with the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group.

“They were clean cuts and not jagged, so Dr. Jacobs said that he’ll see James back in a week. Everything went as expected.”

“Back when we first saw him, last week, he said that James would be two to three weeks in a sling, and then two to two-and-a-half months of physical therapy.”

Jacobs diagnosed the injury to Kirkland (30-1-1, 27 knockouts) following an MRI on March 27 which found the connection between Kirkland’s ligaments and his shoulder to be “very loose.”

“You will notice that he didn’t throw many jabs at all against Molina. He was way off,” said Miller. “So this may explain a little bit why he couldn’t keep Molina off of him and why he wasn’t pushing him back and that kind of thing.”

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer praised Kirkland’s effort against Molina.

“Anybody else would have probably quit on the stool or would not have fought,” said Schaefer, who promotes Kirkland. “We really have to hand it to him for being a true, mondern-day gladiator. So everything is good, and he’ll just move on.”

Molina’s promoter, Leon Margules, president of Warriors Boxing Promotions, has filed an appeal with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation seeking to change Kirkland’s victory over Molina into a no-contest or a no-decision, he told RingTV.com on Tuesday.

Referee Jon Schorle disqualified Molina in response to his cornerman briefly hopping into the ring after a round-ending bell sounded almost at the same instant that Kirkland knocked Molina down. The intrusion briefly halted Schorle’s 10-count, which resumed as a standing eight.

In response to the infraction, Schorle directed Molina’s cornerman, Lou Askennette, to leave the ring, held a brief discussion at ringside with commission representative Greg Alvarez and WBC supervisor Craig Hubble, and then turned and waved off the fight.

Kirkland trailed Molina on two of the three judges’ cards at the time, although most observers felt that the one card in Kirkland’s favor was, in itself, controversial.

Kirkland’s previous fight was November’s come-from-behind, sixth-round knockout of Alfredo Angulo, against whom he was floored 30 seconds into the bout only to drop Angulo just before the bell ending the same round. Angulo was knocked out for the first time in his career.




Following his recovery, Miller said he would like to match Kirkland opposite WBC junior middleweight beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KOs), who must first get beyond a defense against former titleholder Shane Mosley (46-7-1, 39 KOs) on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto on May 5.

“They’re talking about maybe Canelo. I don’t mind talking about that. That would be great. We would love to fight Canelo, but obviously Canelo’s got to get past Mosley,” said Miller, referring to conversations he said that he had with Schaefer.

“But Richard called me last week. He said, ‘I hear that James is going to have surgery, etc., but when do you think that he might be ready to do a Kirkland-Canelo show maybe in September?’ We just hope that he gets back soon and gets back into training as soon as possible.”

Ask about other potential opponents, Miller denied reports that southpaw Paul Williams (41-2, 27 KOs) was ever a serious consideration to face Kirkland.

“No, we’re not going to fight Paul Williams. They can write whatever they want, but he was never in any consideration,” said Miller. “His name had come up, but we had turned him down. He’s nobody that I’m interested in James fighting.”

A former two-time welterweight titlewinner, Williams is coming off February’s Showtime-televised victory over Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida, who had scored a sensational first-round knockout of Kirkland in April.

Wiliams jumpstarted his career by defeating Ishida after having suffered a second-round knockout loss to RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez in November 2010, followed by a disputed majority decision over Erislandy Lara that many ringsiders thought Williams had lost.



Alvarez will be back in the ring, win or lose, on Sept. 15, said Schaefer.

“One thing is for sure is that Canelo is going to return on Sept. 15,” said Schaefer. “If Mosley would win, then we would do a rematch on Sept. 15 as well.”

Alvarez, who is 21, has also expressed the desire to face the Mayweather-Cotto winner if he is victorious against Mosley, who is 40.

“They are two of the best,” said Alvarez. “I would want to fight either one.”

Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions


Photo by Naoki Fukuda


Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

Around the web