Vinny Maddalone used one word to personify Star Boxing Founder & President Joe DeGuardia when introducing Ring 8’s Promoter of the Year at Sunday’s ceremony at Russo on the Bay: “loyalty.”
After impressively knocking out formerly undefeated Junior Middleweight Glen Tapia this past Saturday night on HBO’s Boxing After Dark, could James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) be looking at an immediate title opportunity in 2014?
Current WBO 154 pound title holder Demetrius Andrade (20-0, 13 KOs) could be making his first defense against the Austin, Texas native according to the former Olympian’s co-promoter, Artie Pellulo of Banner Promotions.
“Yesterday I left a message for 50 Cent, Kirkland’s promoter, and offered them the opportunity to face Demetrius Andrade for his WBO Junior Middleweight title,” insists the twenty-five year fight promoter. “Demetrius has to defend his title against the WBO’s mandatory challenger, but I believe I can make this voluntary defense against James Kirkland first.”
If anyone asked the newly crowned WBO Junior Middleweight Champion how he envisioned the opening stanza of his first major title opportunity playing out prior to Saturday night‘s match-up with Vanes Martirosyan, “getting floored” would have been the furthest scenario from the former Olympian’s mind.
Although no fighter wants to overcome the adversity of getting caught by a sneaky left hand in the first round, it was the best thing that could have happened to the crafty southpaw.
In the outset of the highly anticipated contest, the fighter more affectionately known as “Boo Boo” seemed to be loading up on shots, while throwing just one punch at a time. After falling out of position while anxiously trying to land hard leather on Martirosyan’s chin, the Armenian-born fighter countered with a perfectly timed left hand that dropped Andrade.
“He caught me early, but I stayed focused,” admitted the 25 year old title holder. “I started using the jab from that point forward and began to pick him apart.”