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Monday, April 2, 2012
James Kirkland's surgery goes well

By Dan Rafael

Junior middleweight contender James Kirkland underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair two tears in his right shoulder on Monday, co-manager Michael Miller told

Kirkland suffered the injury during his controversial 10th-round disqualification victory against Carlos Molina in an HBO fight March 24 at Reliant Arena in Houston.

"I just talked to the doctor and he said everything went fine," Miller said of his conversation with San Antonio shoulder specialist Dr. Phil Jacobs. "He will see James again in a week, but he said the surgery went fine. He cleaned up everything that needed to be cleaned up and he said there were no surprises."

It was an outpatient surgery performed in San Antonio and Miller said Kirkland was already being driven back to his hometown of Austin on Monday afternoon.

Miller said that Kirkland would be in a sling for three weeks and would follow with two months of physical therapy and rehabilitation.

"And then, if all goes well, the doctor said that James should be in a position to go back to what he was doing before he was hurt, which is to train and fight," Miller said.

Miller said Kirkland's next fight probably would come in September as long as everything with his rehabilitation goes smoothly.

Molina (19-5-2, 6 KOs) had dominated most of the fight, so the injury could certainly be an explanation for Kirkland's surprisingly poor performance. Kirkland (31-1, 27 KOs), however, was coming on.

He dropped Molina just as the bell rang to end the 10th round of the scheduled 12-round fight. Although Molina easily beat the count from referee Jon Schorle, he was disqualified when one of Molina's cornermen briefly entered the ring since the round had ended with the bell and Molina was on his feet. Schorle, however, was still giving the mandatory eight-count and made the controversial decision to disqualify Molina.

Before the fight had taken place, Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes Kirkland, was making plans to match him with former welterweight titlist and junior middleweight contender Paul Williams on June 30 in a Showtime main event at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. However, Kirkland's injury means that fight is a no-go, at least for June.