Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Boxing [Print without images]

Friday, March 30, 2012
James Kirkland to have surgery

By Dan Rafael
ESPN.com

Junior middleweight contender James Kirkland suffered two tears in his right shoulder during his controversial 10th-round disqualification victory against Carlos Molina last Saturday night and will undergo arthroscopic surgery Monday, co-manager Michael Miller said.

Kirkland will be operated on by San Antonio shoulder specialist Dr. Phil Jacobs, Miller said. Jacobs examined Kirkland on Tuesday because he had been complaining of pain in the shoulder following the fight at Reliant Arena in Houston.

"James was complaining after the fight about his right shoulder a lot. James is the epitome of a non-complainer," Miller said, "so I was thinking there has to be something to it.

"I said if it's just sore, that's one thing. But if it's really hurting on Sunday, call me. James called me on Sunday and said it was hurting him like crazy."

The injury certainly could be an explanation for Kirkland's poor performance and general lack of aggression.

Molina had dominated the fight, but Kirkland, who was trailing on two scorecards, dropped him just as the bell rang to end the 10th round. However, Molina was disqualified by referee Jon Schorle in a highly controversial decision when one of Molina's cornermen entered the ring, even though the bell had rung and Molina had easily gotten to his feet.

Schorle, however, was still giving the mandatory eight-count.

Miller said Kirkland (31-1, 27 KOs) would be out for at least three months following surgery. The wait kills the plan for a Showtime main event June 30 against Paul Williams at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Williams-Kirkland had been in the works under the assumption that Kirkland defeated Molina and would be ready to fight in June.

"The doctor said there was some damage and some parts of the shoulder that needed to be tightened up," Miller said. "It's supposed to be a 45-minute surgery on an outpatient basis. James is supposed to show up at noon, surgery at 1 and he should be out by 5. He'll have his arm in a sling for three weeks, and then after that he's supposed to have a two-month physical therapy regimen.

"But Dr. Jacobs said, 'I anticipate three months until you're back doing what you were doing before the surgery.' The doctor knew something was wrong because he could feel it in James' shoulder even before the MRI, but he said James would be good as new."

Warriors Boxing promoter Leon Margules, meanwhile, filed a formal appeal this week on behalf of Molina (19-5-2, 6 KOs) with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which oversees boxing in the state.

He is seeking to have the result of the fight changed to a no-contest because he believes Schorle did not apply the rules correctly and that the round should have been over as soon as Molina had beaten the 10-count, which he did before his cornerman entered the ring.