Roc Nation President Michael Yormark and Jerry Jones, President and owner of the Dallas Cowboys held the official press conference for the showdown between Four Division World Champion Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs), and James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs), which will be held at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. This will be historical in the sense that it will be the first professional sports event at this new sports facility in Texas.
Not only will this be the first professional sporting event at this venue, but it will also be the first professional boxing event in the 12,000-seat stadium.
The fight will be held on February 25, 2017, and undefeated Super Bantamweight World Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux is scheduled as the Co-Main event, including Dallas’ WBO/NABO junior welterweight champion Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker on the undercard.
In addition to the live event, it will be shown worldwide on HBO PPV and this will be the tenth PPV event for Miguel Cotto.
What is interesting and unknown to many, is that Texas is where Cotto fought his first two fights as a professional, the first being in Austin and his second in Fort Worth, Texas in 2001. His return for this event in Texas will be after sixteen years and after winning four world titles in four different weight divisions.
He has fought the best of his era, including Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, Manny Pacquiao, and most recently, Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez, among others.
It is now eleven months since his last fight against the Canelo and it will be seventeen months since Kirkland’s last fight, which happened to be against the Canelo as well, although Cotto’s fight went the distance, and Kirkland got knocked out in the third round.
But this time, Kirkland will have Ann Wolfe by his side, and he has never lost a fight with her as his trainer. At the press conference when she spoke, she said Kirkland and her respect each other, and although they were apart, she felt they never left each other. She went on to say that he knows that when she trains, there is no playing around. She concluded by saying “someone is going to get knocked out in this fight,” and it is safe to say she is talking about Cotto.
As for Cotto, prior to his short speech at the podium, he told reporters that he was fighting Kirkland because he was the biggest named opponent at this time and did not elaborate on other fighters that were mentioned.
Cotto also said that his training with Freddie Roach will start in the first week of January at the Wild Card Boxing Gym.
In his time at the podium, Cotto was calm and confident in his speech to the media and Kirkland who was sitting to his left with his former trainer, Ann Wolfe. He said this was a special fight for him, since his first two professional fights were in Texas. As for his speech, it was short and to the point. He said he would do his best in training and that he would bring his best against Kirkland and hopefully take the victory back to Puerto Rico. Boxing enthusiasts consider him to be the favorite, and with good reason, but Kirkland will be better prepared than his last fight.
Cotto went on to say that he will have only one more fight after this one, and that he does not know who that will be, but it will include a huge list of champions.
When asked how many rounds he expected the fight to go, he would not give a prediction and told ITR that the fight is scheduled for twelve rounds and he will be prepared to go the full twelve rounds. There is no doubt that he will be ready to go the distance, but it is not expected.
Cotto vs. Kirkland is a 12-round junior middleweight fight presented by Roc Nation Sports, Miguel Cotto Promotions and Ford Center at The Star, and sponsored by Corona Extra. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Tickets priced at $304, $204, $154, $104, $79, $54 and $29 not including applicable service charges and taxes, go on sale Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. local time and will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000 and the AT&T Stadium box office.
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