James Kirkland and promoter Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson are proud of his effort last night in an all-action loss to Canelo Alvarez, who scored a brutal third round knockout at Minute Maid Park on HBO, and Jackson also said after the fight that he planned to reunite the fighter with his former trainer, with whom he's never lost a fight.
"I'm proud of him, he's a true warrior, and I'm going to get him back with Ann Wolfe," said Jackson, founder of SMS Promotions.
Kirkland (32-2, 28 KO) put immense pressure on Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KO), but Alvarez responded with absurd accuracy (landing 60% of his punches) against Kirkland's non-existent defense, and dropped the underdog three times -- once in the first round, and twice in the third.
"I didn't know I was knocked out," said Kirkland. "I had him trapped and hurt in the corner in the first round but he escaped, I had him hurt in the second also. He's a great champion, I'm proud that I was able to compete in such a terrific event, and I hope to fight him again someday. I'm a warrior, I'll be back."
For Kirkland, simply getting back in the ring sooner than later might be the real key. He hadn't fought since a December 2013 mauling of Glen Tapia, and had fought just two times in the last three years.
Wolfe was in attendance at the fight, and had an emotionally-charged reaction when the HBO cameras caught up with her afterward. Reuniting the fighter and trainer may be tricky. Even if Jackson does his best with that, the reasons that Kirkland decided not to train with Wolfe for this camp haven't been stated, and if there's a a deep conflict there, it simply may not work.