James Kirkland finally has his wish, as a judge in Texas has ruled that his promotional contract with Golden Boy is invalid, specifically the 2011 extension to that deal, and the fighter will become a free agent. The question now is, will any notable promoter want to bring him into their stable?
Kirkland, who has served time in jail on more than one occasion, was recently arrested and booked in Texas on charges of violence against his girlfriend. He's had numerous issues outside of the ring over the years, and it was Golden Boy that stepped up and helped him out the last time he got into trouble.
It has been speculated in the past that a new manager or group of advisers had gotten into Kirkland's ear and convinced him to dump pretty much his entire team, from Golden Boy to longtime confidant Pops Billingsley and trainer Ann Wolfe, as well as managers Cameron Dunkin and Mike Miller, who anticipated the move from Kirkland.
At this point, Kirkland hasn't fought since March 2012, when he scored a controversial DQ win over Carlos Molina. He is without question one of the most exciting fighters in the sport, but his unfortunately routine outside the ring issues have made him a 29-year-old non-factor at the moment.
In other words, any company would love to have the James Kirkland who exists between the ropes. But he's unpredictable and seemingly can set his career back any given day. Is he a risk worth taking for someone like Top Rank or Lou DiBella?