On Saturday, February 25, 2017, Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) takes on James Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Dubbed as “The Return,” the Junior Middleweight contest pits two aging fighters against one another as they look to prove that they have at least enough left in the tank for one more big performance.
On Monday, December 19, 2016, both men took part in the official kick off press conference to announce the fight which will be held at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Kirkland, a 32-year-old southpaw from Austin, Texas, has not fought since May of 2015, when Canelo Alvarez brutally knocked him out in the third round.
“I definitely want to put on a great performance. I didn’t give it my all when I fought Canelo Alvarez. I didn’t prepare the way I needed to but I’m not going to bring any excuses to the table,” said Kirkland, who will be reunited with trainer Ann Wolfe for this fight.
Wolfe was not in his Kirkland’s corner for the Canelo fight, which was a firestorm while it lasted.
“I know everyone knows that I’m not one for all of the talking, even the s— talking or whatever,” said Wolfe at the press conference.
“Every time that Miguel Cotto has entered the ring, I rooted for him to win. Every time that James Kirkland has entered the ring, even when I wasn’t there, I rooted for him to win. This is going to be the first time that I won’t be rooting for Miguel to win,” said Wolfe.
Indeed, fans are giving Kirkland a fighting chance against the Puerto Rican legend because he’s back with the coach that always has him focused and in incredible shape.
“This fight is to show my team, my fans and everyone who has followed and supported me, that James Kirkland is still in the race,” said Kirkland.
“Kirkland is still here to make a stand. Keep my name alive, please attend and watch it come February 25. It’s going to be a war.”
While fans know that Kirkland is an all-action fighter and will certainly bring his all with the help of Wolfe, it still won’t help what is sure to be a disastrous financial endeavor for Roc Nation Sports.
According to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, Cotto is due at least $10 million, meaning that even if the fight sells 150,000 subscriptions, it is still destined for failure.
It also doesn’t help that Wolfe is telling skeptics to save their money if they feel the bout isn’t pay-per-view worthy.
Regardless of promotion and pay-per-view numbers, Kirkland is anxious to prove that he’s back in top form.
“I’m going to train like never before so I can show the world that the old James Kirkland is back,” said Kirkland
“I got one agenda, one focus and one mind frame and that’s to win.”
All photos by Porfirio Barron Jr./Round By Round Boxing