At age 36 and coming off a first round knockout loss to Juan Macias Montiel last month, many in the sport were expecting, or hoping, to have seen James Kirkland (34-3, 30 KOs) in between the ropes for the last time. After all, Kirkland has experienced a pretty turbulent career in a rough sport where he’s taken some punishment due to his ultra aggressive fighting style.
But during this conversation with Curran Bhatia, Kirkland says he doesn’t have any thoughts of retirement, and when asked the obvious question of whether or not he’s considered teaming back up with trainer Ann Wolfe, Kirkland said:
“It’s crazy because I had so many people come to me with that initial question and I recently spoke with her and everything was like — it’s like a brother and sister when you don’t see each other a long time...It’s always a plus when it comes to me and Ann, there’s never a dull moment.
“I’m always loving the class and just understanding that she has. It’s like she’s my left side, I’m her right side. So it’s always like if I ain’t thinking one way, she’s thinking another...it’s like two peas in a pod, picture perfect. She’s working on things, I’m working on things, but you never know how things work, man. I definitely looking forward to talking with her and trying to see what we can do to move forward.
“Working with Ann, I would love to sit there and say ‘let’s drop it all today, let’s drop it all tomorrow and get back to movement and the hard training.’ ‘Cause a lot of people — don’t get me wrong, people train and train hard but some people can get used to training hard and some people it’s their lifestyle of working that hard. Dealing with her, she’s been able to work me to a certain ratio that when it comes down to the fight, the fight be the easiest thing. You be like ‘man, that ain’t nothing, my training camp was 10x harder.’
“But like I said, I’m definitely down to have a talk with her and we’ve recently spoken and we’ll talk about bringing stuff back to the game.”