Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |


Q&A: Kirkland dicusses his chin, his future, Alvarez


alt Does Molina compare favorably to anyone else that you have fought?

JK: I think that he’s a good fighter, sort of like a Bryan Vera [eighth-round knockout victory in November of 2008,] but he’s more of a volume-puncher than a Bryan Vera. He doesn’t so much load up on certain punches, but he slides in and comes back out.

So we see those things. And to be able to see those things and to adapt to them, that’s what my gameplan is going to be. It’s to make him go back to what he knows best and to go back to what he’s been doing all of his life.

I want to put him into a certain position and then make him pay. I’m going to break him down so fast that it’s going to scare everybody, and because I know what it takes to win. So are you looking to knock out Molina?

JK: I’m not going in there just for the knockout, because I have a game plan to follow. As far as the type of work that I’m going to be putting in and the type of power that’s going to be on display, I’m going to show that I have the ability to really know what to do in the ring and to be able to adapt to a person.

I have that skill, and that’s the key. That’s my game plan is to stay focused and to work and work. I hear that he wants to out-work me, but I have shots to stop people. I have shots that I hit people with where, if they have the ability to throw 100 shots, once I hit them with my shot, they’re back to throwing one, two, three punches at a time.

They may only drop to throwing about 10 punches in one round. So it’s just something where the people have to see it and the fans have to stay tuned. I don’t do a lot of talking. So what are you looking for beyond this fight?

JK: Well, that’s another thing, people said that I called him out. But I don’t call out anybody who doesn’t have a title. If you don’t have a title and we’re not fighting for a world title, why would I be calling you out? What’s the reason to call you out? I have no reason to do that because I have really nothing to gain by beating you.

But I really want to fight Alvarez. He’s a very skilled fighter and he knows how to box. He knows how to take fights into deep water. But I’ve never been pushed to that extent, so I would love to fight him. He brings a tremendous crowd, and I’m all for action. What would you say to people who would question your chin, given that you were dropped a combined four times by Angulo and Ishida?

JK: This is what I would say to those people. I would say that I have had a bunch of fights, and all of them I’ve won, besides one. You look at all of the people that I’ve fought, and you look at the bangers. Look at their knockout records and you do the math.

Do I have a chin? Well, I’ve had fights where they’ve cracked me and I’ve cracked them, but guess who has come out standing for the most part? You’ve got to use common sense. Do I have a chin? Well, I’ve got all of these wins and one loss. You do the math. That loss is because I didn’t train right, I didn’t come prepared right.

Not that I underestimated Ishida, but I just wasn’t 100 percent focused when I came into that fight. And you saw the consequences. So I went in half-cocked and wasn’t prepared and you saw the result. I know my situation and I know what type of fighter I am.

Most people take a loss and they lose it. Their ability to stay firm and to stay a champion, they start questioning themselves. But I know what type of fighter I am, and I know what I bring to the table, I know that I come to fight, and I have this drive still, and I know that I can be a world champion.


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