James Kirkland, once one of boxing’s most exciting rising stars, is set to end a four-year-plus layoff next Saturday, when he returns in a six-round bout in Austin, Texas.
Kirkland, now 35, hasn’t fought since a May 2015 loss to Canelo Alvarez, where the Texan was battered and knocked out in the third round. The most recent reports are that Kirkland, who has had issues outside of the ring, is back training with Ann Wolfe, with whom he is undefeated as a pro. Overall he’s 32-2 (28 KO).
Kirkland was set to face Miguel Cotto in Feb. 2017 but pulled out due to injury, and hasn’t really been heard from since. There have been rumors here and there about him training again and looking to get back into the ring, but nothing has come to fruition. So even though this fight is just eight days away, perhaps take it with a grain of salt.
If it happens, Kirkland will face Colby Courter (13-14, 10 KO), a 33-year-old club fighter from Missouri who has faced and lost to the likes of Rob Brant, Anthony Sims Jr, Jamal James, and Antoine Douglas.