Kirkland released from prison
James Kirkland was released from prison in Three Rivers, Texas, today and plans to resume training as soon as possible, said his attorney, Michael Miller.
Kirkland, behind bars since he was arrested for possession of a gun by a felon in April of last year, went to a half-way house in his hometown of Austin, Texas. He must stay there for a week, after which he can leave during the day to begin training for his comeback fight.
“I can't wait to get back in the ring and pick up where I left off,” Kirkland said in a statement released Friday. “I apologize to all my friends, family, team members and fans for everything that happened, but I promise that I will make everybody proud in the coming months and years.”
The former junior middleweight contender, who has not fought since March of last year, is expected to get back into the ring in early December. One possibility is the Dec. 11 card featuring Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas.
Kirkland’s handlers had hoped he would fight next month but his release was delayed a few weeks. That and the fact he can’t leave the half-way house for a week to train properly precluded an earlier fight.
Miller said Kirkland (25-0, 22 knockouts) weighs only 172 pounds after taking part in exercise programs in prison.
“He took part in an abs class,” Miller said. “And he took part in a run-walk class. He probably put in 40 miles a week doing that. He usually starts training camp at about 180 pounds so he’s in pretty good shape.”
Miller also is optimistic that Kirkland’s legal problems are behind him.
“He’s saying all the right things,” Miller said. “He said, ‘I get it now. I understand. I was a dumb ass in the past. I’m not going to do it anymore. I have children who look up to me. I have fans I let down.’ I’ve been preaching to him that it’s actions and not words that are important, though.
“He’s looking forward to proving his naysayers wrong.”
Kirkland is a convicted felon (for armed robbery in 2003), which makes it illegal for him to possess a gun.