Since 2011, James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) has averaged just one fight a year and has alternated between looking extremely lethal and completely mental.
Signing with 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions last fall hasn’t added any stability to the junior middleweight brawler as he has reportedly refused several offers to return to the ring and is on an on-again, off-again relationship with most everyone on his team, including trainer Ann Wolfe.
The latest buzz has Kirkland possibly returning to the ring on November 8, as the HBO-televised co-feature on the Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev card in Atlantic City. Although several possible opponents have been named in the past, only Gabriel Rosado (21-8, 13 KOs) is currently being mentioned. According to Boxingscene, the sticking point so far in negotiations is the contracted weight, which Kirkland is reportedly pushing as 156 lbs. while Rosado would prefer to fight at the middleweight limit of 160.
Rosado was last seen knocking out Brian Vera in the critically well-received debut of BKB Boxing. Prior to that he was on a 0-3 (1 no contest) run in the ring, dropping bouts to Jermell Charlo, Peter Quillin, and Gennady Golovkin. (The no contest was against J’Leon Love, who tested positive for a banned substance after their May, 2013 contest).
Kirkland, who bludgeoned Glen Tapia en route to a TKO 6 victory in his last bout, hasn’t been in the ring since December of 2013.