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Golden Boy signs James Kirkland

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Box_fw_kirkland2_580_medium Credit: Dan Rafael

154-pound banger James Kirkland has signed with Golden Boy Promotions despite a lawsuit from former promoter Gary Shaw, reports Dan Rafael.

Kirkland, a fast-rising star due to his non-stop punching and massive power, is still just 24 years old, and stands with a pro record of 23-0 (20 KO). His crushing defeat of Eromosele Albert on May 17, live on HBO, gained him a substantial amount of new fans, it seemed. Many had seen his knockouts before, but the way he completely overwhelmed a solid fighter surprised most of us, I think. Kirkland slaughtered Albert.

With trainer Ann Wolf, Kirkland has become one of boxing's hottest properties, and after splitting with Shaw over scheduling clashes between fighter and promoter (Kirkland wanted to fight more and says Shaw failed to deliver on his promises to make that happen), Golden Boy lands a strong, young fighter to back up a talent roster that, in all candor, is aging rapidly (Oscar, Mosley, Hopkins and Marquez are not getting any younger) and has only a few truly promising young fighters. Top Rank has long held the upper-hand in young talent, and hopefully this move means Golden Boy is moving toward signing more good young guys that are out there, and that they'll make aggressive moves even earlier in a fighter's career than this.