Kirkland arrested in hometown

Updated: April 20, 2009, 4:54 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Junior middleweight contender James Kirkland, who is scheduled to fight Michael Walker in a 10-round bout May 2 on the Ricky Hatton-Manny Pacquiao HBO PPV card undercard in Las Vegas, was arrested on a weapons charge Sunday.

He was still in custody Monday afternoon.

Kirkland, 25, who is on probation for a 2003 armed robbery that cost him 2 years of his career, was arrested during a traffic stop in his hometown of Austin, Texas, and booked Sunday afternoon. He was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the Travis County Sherriff's Department Web site.

Whether Kirkland (25-0, 22 KOs) will be available to fight May 2 is unclear.

"It appears that James is the victim of circumstance and we're waiting for the facts to come in before we make any comment," Cameron Dunkin, Kirkland's co-manager, told ESPN.com.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, who signed Kirkland in October and promoted his last two bouts, both of which were on HBO, has talked with Kirkland's attorney and co-manager Michael Miller and had no comment.

"I don't really know anything yet, so I really can't comment, but I'm looking into it," Schaefer said.

Kirkland has emerged as one of the most fearsome punchers in boxing and is on the fast track. After stopping Joel "Love Child" Julio in six rounds on March 7, he was quickly lined up for the May 2 fight which was to be followed with another HBO appearance in August. Schaefer has been trying to put together a title challenge for him against either Sergei Dzindziruk or Daniel Santos.