Fighter of the Month:
James Kirkland– The question about this 154 lb. prospect was always whether his wrecking ball-style offense would be as effective against top-level competition as it was against the fringe contenders and club fighters of the division.
On March 7th, in San Jose, California we got the answer as Kirkland took a huge step up against offense-minded Joel Julio and literally battered the Colombian slugger into submission.
Coming into this contest, everyone knew that Julio could be outboxed- His two prior defeats being at the hands of awkward southpaw stylists, Carlos Quintana and Sergiy Dzinziruk. But James Kirkland is as much a stylist as he is a pastry chef and he tore into Julio like he was in a hurry to get to his post-fight interview. Basically, Kirkland fought Julio’s game and beat him at it.
Julio had a few moments where he could’ve turned things around, but the constant aggression from the Austin, Texas native had him fighting off his back foot in retreat the entire time.
Eventually, Julio’s battered body conspired with his battered psyche and the fight was waved off a little past the half-way point.
This win turned Kirkland from exciting prospect to real Top 10 challenger overnight…and it also earned him The BTBC Fighter of the Month award…
Bum of the Month:
Roy Jones Jr.: Some people become Bum of the Month because of some sort of nefarious, underhanded or cowardly act they perpetrate…And some, like Roy Jones Jr., are awarded the prize because they’re just plain delusional.
You can’t blame him for wanting a pleasant ending to a career that, lately, has been going very poorly and, therefore, you can’t blame him for fighting in his hometown of Pensacola. And, yeah, I’ll even forgive him the selection of Omar Sheika as his opponent despite the fact that Sheika, little more than a high-level club fighter- even in his prime, had lost two of his last three (six of his last ten) and had been very inactive (the Jones fight being only his third in about five years). Heck, I can even understand putting it on PPV, considering that no network would ever think of touching such a farce.
But what earned him the Bum of the Month title was the fact that Jones and his promotional company, Sqaure Ring, didn’t even try to put together a decent undercard to offset the pointless main event.
Instead, we got BJ Flores in a typically tame and mind-numbing performance and, worst of all, we got subjected to three horrid MMA bouts where, literally, nothing happened. The Boxing public had to sit idly by while little men, big and muscular black men, fat guys and biker-types played grab-ass for a crowd that was doing anything but paying attention.
Shame on you, Roy!
And for future reference to any wannabe promoters out there…Don’t ever think of mixing Boxing with MMA again…I don’t buy that they don’t mesh well because they are two different sports; Actually the sports themselves aren’t beyond comparison- But the demograpnics of MMA and Boxing are worlds apart. You’d have just as much luck putting a Greco-Roman Wrestling contest on the Wrestlemania PPV or having The Super Bowl played with Arena Football rules…
The BTBC Thread of the Month:
The BTBC Pound 4 Pound List (This Time For Real!)
The BTBC crew puts together its definitive Pound 4 Pound list and engages in some Wladimir Klitschko and Ivan Calderon debate along the way. For the final BTBC Pound 4 Pound list, check out our YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3t68SGPRmo