Fight fans often have no idea how long it can take for a deal to come together. No, most of the negotiation sessions aren't of the ludicrous variety, the on again off again sort that we've seen for the Money-Manny talks.
But this May 2 scrap which pits James Kirkland against Oscar De La Hoya's new golden boy, Canelo Alvarez, which will run on HBO, from the Alamodome, has been discussed since May of last year.
Kirkland advisor Mike Miller, a San Antonio based attorney who has repped the heavy handed lefty banger for almost ten years, told me that discussions to make this fight have been on again, off again, for a long spell.
Finally, things came together after the 30-year-old Kirkland didn't dig some of the offers for fights which promoter 50 Cent came to him with, such as for face-offs against “Not That” Willie Nelson, and also Gennady Golovkin.
Miller told me that this deal came together when 50 Cent came to like the idea of co-promoting with Golden Boy. Kirkland is contracted to 50 through 2016, Miller said, and is happy to begin the process of shedding his holiday season padding, to get to 155 for the Mexican.
Miller lives 70 miles from the Austin-based Kirkland (32-1) and they don't go line dancing together, so Miller isn't sure what Kirkland does on a day to day basis. But he assures me the scrapper, who fought once in '12, once in '13, and not at all last year, will get into fighting trim, and look to exploit some weaknesses he sees in the Canelo game. Miller, who also handles Missouri super lightweight KeAndre Gibson, who was in Canelo's camp for many weeks before the red-head tangled with Floyd Mayweather–yep, he has given an in depth scouting report to Kirkland–said Kirkland has some ideas on how to beat Canelo. “He's gonna be busier than him, go to the body, Canelo doesn't like that, and James hits as hard or harder than anyone Canelo has been in the ring with,” Miller told me.
Miller also reps Alfredo Angulo, who was in with Canelo (TKO10 win in March '14) and knows what he can and can't do. “James also thinks he takes parts of rounds or rounds off,” Miller said.
Miller believes Canelo will look to fight Kirkland in the same way he fought Angulo.
People are wondering if Kirkland will be back with trainer Ann Wolfe, the ballsy tutor who revels in a charm-free, ultra no-nonsense brand of training which has served Kirkland extremely well. “I'm not sure if they will be together. Give it to the end of the week. I hope so,” Miller said. “He's undefeated with Ann.”
Follow Woods on the Twitter: