James Kirkland declined bout because of dispute with 50 Cent over his purse

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James Kirkland declined a Nov. 8 bout with Gabe Rosado because he was unhappy with how much of his purse was going to promoter Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, his manager said. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
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Michael Miller has worked for nine years as super welterweight James Kirkland's attorney, adviser, friend and manager, and he's come to expect the unexpected from Kirkland.

Kirkland declined a lucrative bout with Gabe Rosado on Nov. 8 on HBO, Miller said, because he was unhappy with how much of his purse was going to go to his promoter, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson.

Miler said he was not at liberty to disclose the figures, but said that Jackson was above board with Kirkland and the amount that was going to go to Jackson was what all sides had previously discussed and agreed upon.

But in a telephone conversation between Jackson and Kirkland, it fell apart, Miller said.

Boxing promoter Curtis 50 Cent Jackson (WSJ)
Boxing promoter Curtis 50 Cent Jackson (WSJ)

HBO offered an amount of money to Jackson to get him to provide Kirkland's services for the bout. Kirkland wanted the fight and it seemed the fight was a go. 

After talking on the phone with Jackson, Kirkland changed his mind, believing that Jackson was switching the deal.

"It's frustrating, because I think some fair offers are being made and he's not taking them," Miller told Yahoo Sports. "When you say you're going to take an offer and then you don't, six or seven days later, patience starts to wear thin."

Kirkland has been in and out of jail and hasn't been the most stable figher. He sued to get out of his Golden Boy contract in 2012, and earlier this year, told Miller, trainer Ann Wolfe and assistant trainer Donald "Pops" Billingsley that he no longer needed their services. Billingsley rescued Kirkland from a homeless shelter when the fighter was just 6 years old.

Miller filed suit in Bexar County Court in San Antonio, Texas, to enforce his deal. A judge sided with Miller in April and, shortly after, Kirkland reunited with the three of them.

James Kirkland. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
James Kirkland. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

"I'm used to it now after nine years," Miller said of all the zigs and zags and crazy turns in his relationship with Kirkland. "Think of where he was after being Joel Julio, and then he goes to prison. Then he does other crazy things. Then he gets beat by [Nobuhiro] Ishida. He tried to leave us and then he wanted to come back. Then he turns down Golden Boy offers that would have made him a multi-millionaire. 

"Now, there's a dispute with 50 Cent over what [Kirkland] thought he heard and what I know I heard. He said 'People in the street, we don't do that. 50 told me the number is going to be x and by God, the number is going to be x.' Everyone tried to explain to him that 'x' was the number that [Jackson] was getting from HBO. ... But [Jackson] has got to make something. We all agreed that a promoter has to make something. I told him that [Jackson] was trying to be totally up front with him, but he was like, 'No. No. You weren't on the phone.' "

And so Kirkland passed on a deal that would have been beneficial and set up him for several potentially big fights in 2015. He also declined a contract in which Golden Boy proposed co-promoting with Jackson that would have guaranteed him a fight with Canelo Alvarez, the star of the Golden Boy stable.

"He doesn't know who to trust and who to believe and he just shuts people out and takes advice from whoever's standing next to him at the time," Miller said. "It's too bad, but I've been through it a lot before."

Kirkland couldn't be reached for comment.