Cracking Doubleheader Planned For March 7th - Kirkland-Julio And Harris-Ortiz

by James Slater - According to top boxing scribe Dan Rafael over at, a very exciting doubleheader is in the works for March 7th, as big punchers James Kirkland and Joel Julio will meet at light-middleweight and on the same card light-welterweights Victor Ortiz and Vivian Harris will clash. Both fights promise fireworks and a KO or stoppage looks likely in both encounters. But in whose favour?

Lets look at Kirkland Vs. Julio first..

James Kirkland is one of boxing's hottest prospects right about now. The 24-year-old is unbeaten in 24 pro fights, winning all but three of them inside the distance. A naturally heavy-handed puncher, the man from Austin, Texas always looks for the stoppage. However, he has also proved to be hittable himself, with some major flaws in his defence being noticed in recent fights. Against the more experienced, but younger Julio, these flaws may well prove fatal.

In his last fight, back in November of 2008, the 23-year-old from Colombia who also bangs hard, took the unbeaten WBO 154-pound champ Sergiy Dzinziruk the full 12 rounds and was in the fight all the way. With his fine record of 34-2(31), in which he has never been stopped, Julio just might prove to be a test too far for the still learning Kirkland.

Speaking to, Kirkland's manager Cameron Dunkin admitted the fight is a risky one to take.

"It's a dangerous fight," Dunkin said. "Julio can really punch. I'm not afraid of his boxing ability as much as I am that he can hit you on the chin and hurt you. But I have a lot of belief in James, who can also really punch. Winning a fight like this will really get him to the next level."

Julio's manager, Eric Gomez, also spoke of how potentially explosive the March fight will be.

"It's a hell of a fight," Gomez told ESPN. "We know we are taking a big risk with Kirkland, but we have to make good fights. If our guys want to be on HBO, they have to fight tough fights."

And a tough fight the HBO After Dark scheduled encounter certainly is. As close to a pick 'em affair as you could name, this one really is too close to call.

This cannot be said of the second bout scheduled for the card, however. Though the battle of the two light-welterweights with the same "Vicious" nickname is also intriguing to some degree, Vivian Harris, after looking so shaky in his last couple of fights, appears headed to a potentially career-ending KO defeat against the very promising Victor Ortiz, of Oxnard, California.

Much younger than Harris at age 21 (compared to Harris' 30) and looking like a future champion, the puncher who has lived up to his nickname will be a big favourite to see off the former WBA 140-pound champ. Though Harris can also hit and is full of heart and cannot be written off completely, it looks here as though the 23-1-1(18) Ortiz will be too much for him. Harris, 29-3-1(19) really does deserve some credit for taking this fight. Look for him to be stopped, though - very possibly inside the opening round.

According to ESPN, HBO are also currently looking at making the March card a triple header, with former featherweight champion Robert Guerrero, who returns to action on the Margarito-Mosley card, sharing the bill. The site for this exciting night of action has still to be determined.

Article posted on 14.01.2009

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