The co-manager of hard-hitting southpaw junior middleweight James Kirkland told RingTV.com that the fighter will be announced as the new opponent and the Sept. 15 challenger to WBC beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in the wake of Sunday’s career-ending motorcye injury to left-handed, two-time titlewinner Paul Williams.
Kirkland’s co-manager, attorney Michael Miller, and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, have each acknowledged that the deal is done regarding the pay per view matchup between Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 knockouts) and Kirkland (30-1-1, 27 KOs).
“It’s done. It has not been signed yet by James, but they’re going to be sending me the contract, and it should be signed after I run it to Kirkland in Austin, Texas, tomorrow morning,” Miller said of Kirkland, who, like Alvarez, is promoted by Golden Boy.
“I was out of the loop because I’ve been in a trial all afternoon. But I took a message during a break, and [Co-manager] Cameron Dunkin has worked it all out. They’re going to announce it, and James has accepted it, and I don’t think that there are going to be any hesitations or any problems. So it’s done as far as we’re concerned.”
Coming off a unanimous decision over former champ Shane Mosley on May 5, Alvarez had been signed to face Williams (41-2, 27 KOs) before the motorcyle accident near Atlanta rendered the fighter paralyzed from the waist down.
Miller first informed RingTV.com of the talks involving Schaefer during an interview in early April.
At the time, Kirkland had just begun recovering from surgery by San Antonio-based general orthopedist, Dr. Philip M. Jacobs, to repair two tears in his right shoulder and jab arm following his controversial, HBO-televised 10th-round disqualification victory over Carlos Molina on March 24.
Prior to facing Molina, Kirkland’s previous bout was November’s sixth-round knockout of Alfredo Angulo, who had dropped Kirkland 30 seconds into the bout only to be floored himself just before the bell ending the same round. Angulo was knocked out for the first time in his career.
“”It’s confirmed that we have a deal,” said Schaefer. “I just got confirmation two minutes ago that Kirkland is on board, so it’s going to be Canelo versus Kirkland on Sept. 15 at the MGM Grand.”
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org