New Jersey's Glen Tapia has the biggest fight of his career just about a month away, as he's scheduled to face the returning James Kirkland on December 7 on HBO, which is on paper a pretty big step up in class. The 23-year-old Tapia says that he's been anticipating this kind of fight, and he's confident of victory:
"This the type of fight that I've been waiting for. I want to show you guys that I'm more than just a [future] champion, I'm one of the best. I'm here to stay and I'll show you guys. He has power, he's a tough guy and he will never quit - and I'm the same way. And I'm the same way and I'll show you guys why I have a little bit more talent."
Tapia (20-0, 12 KO) has been something of a mixed bag as a prospect. Early in his career, he looked very impressive, but as time has gone on, he's settled into a level that appears for now to be perhaps a bit short of true world class, though that could just be the way it looks, too. I bring this up a lot, but Danny Garcia once looked like that. Now he's one of the best in the world pound-for-pound and the clear top dog at 140.
A lot of what happens in this fight will depend on what type of shape and mindset Kirkland (31-1, 27 KO) is in on fight night. The troubled power puncher isn't getting any younger, and with so much time so consistently missed from the sport even in the gym, his body is less and less likely to respond to tough training camps that come after these spells of inactivity. Kirkland is back with trainer Ann Wolfe, so we'll see if that helps him get back to his usual self.
Is Tapia primed to knock off a bigger name here?