James Kirkland back in jail for one week, but it won’t disrupt his December 11th fight against Raines
By Jim Dower: Unbeaten junior middleweight James Kirkland (25-0, 22 KO’s) is back in jail for one week, according to ESPN. After serving a year in prison in Austin, Texas, on weapons charges, Kirkland was recently released from prison and was training for his December 11th bout against Delray Raines (18-8 -1, 13 KO’s) at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kirkland, 26, wasn’t at the gym wasn’t at the gym, where he was supposed to be, when his probation officer came looking for him, and that led to Kirkland having to do an extra week in jail. Kirland was at the dentist office for an hour getting his mouthpiece fit for him by his dentist.
The good news is that it will only effect Kirkland for a week, and it won’t wipe out his next fight with Raines on 12/11. Before going to prison last year, Kirkland was considered one of the best fighters in the junior middleweight division. He had recently beaten Joel Julio and Bryan Vera with ease, and was looking at a potential fight against WBO junior middleweight champion Sergeii Dzinziruk.
Kirkland is still young enough to quickly regain his form. The only hard questionable part is whether Kirkland can trim back down to 154 and dominate the same way he was before. He’s been said to be weighing in the 170 region and he plans on fighting Raines at middleweight. It would be tough on the 5’9″ Kirkland if he had to fight at middleweight on a permanent basis, because the fighters are bigger and quicker there, and he wouldn’t have as much of an advantage at that weight compared to at junior middleweight.