Unbeaten junior middleweight star James Kirkland was released from prison ahead of schedule yesterday and will finish the remainder of his sentence for a 2009 parole violation in a half-way house. Kirkland will be allowed to train, travel and continue his quest for a world title in the boxing ring.
"I can't wait to get back in the ring and pick up where I left off," said Kirkland, whose most recent bout saw him stop fellow contender Joel Julio in six rounds on March 7, 2009. "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."
"It's great to have James back and the junior middleweight division has just been put on notice," said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "I know how hard he works and he's been waiting for this moment to prove to the world that he shouldn't be judged by his mistakes in the past, but how he fixes those mistakes and becomes a role model for young men and women everywhere."
"It was unfortunate to see what James went through, but he has served his time and I know he has learned from his mistakes," said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "James is a fine young man and we're behind him one hundred percent as he pursues his dreams in and out of the boxing ring."
A native of Austin, Texas, Kirkland (25-0, 22 KO's) is one of the top contenders in the junior middleweight division, a knockout artist who has captivated the fight world since his pro debut in 2001. Owner of wins over Joel Julio, Bryan Vera, Ricardo Cortes and Eromosele Albert, the 26-year-old southpaw will look to continue his quest for a world championship once he returns to the ring this fall.