James Kirkland Still Looking For Next Opponent; Jonak Out, Nelson Wants In

By BT1
Feb. 14, 2014

Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Despite rumors that he may be in line for a move up to middleweight and a shot at Gennady Golovkin's WBA world title, James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) is still without an opponent for his upcoming April 26 date in New York City. Kirkland is scheduled to fight in the co-feature of an HBO double-header headlined by Golovkin.

Earlier in the month, it was widely reported that Polish junior middleweight contender, Damian Jonak, was close to signing for the spot. However, apparent money issues have nixed the possibility of that bout.

Another junior middleweight contender, however, has stepped up and has issued an offer to face the heavy-handed "Mandingo Warrior."

Willie Nelson (21-1-1, 12 KOs), best known for his victory over fellow prospects Yudel Jhonson and John Jackson, has publicly stated his desire to face the fearsome native of Austin, TX.

"Kirkland is a fighter that everyone thinks highly of," Nelson recently told Boxingscene. "He is just one of the guys I have wanted to fight since I started at 147 pounds.  I have always felt that I can beat him.  Hopefully after calling him out and letting it be known we want the fight, then we can make it happen."

There's no word yet from Kirkland or his promoter, 50 Cent, as to who, exactly, may be on the short list of opponents.

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