Cotto vs. Kirkland Cancelled
The cancellation is a bigger blow to HBO, who was handling the pay-per-view and was due to reap the benefits, than to boxing itself…
The February 25 pay-per-view fight between Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland at The Ford Centre in Frisco, Texas, has been cancelled, prompting groans of disappointment and sighs of relief in equal measure.
Kirkland reportedly had to withdraw from the fight after he broke his nose in training. If he didn’t stumble over a medicine ball or trip over a jump rope, it’s reasonable to assume that a sparring partner permeated Kirkland’s defense and his fists did the rest.
A sparring partner’s job is to prepare the marquee fighter for the big bout ahead. His job, more often as not, is to absorb and not dish out punishment. The unnamed sparring partner in this case must have been feeling his oats, and if he could break Kirkand’s nose, what would Cotto have done?
We will never know, but at least it won’t cost $70 to find out.
As pay-per-view fights go, this one was doomed from the start. Cotto vs. Kirkland was a mismatch, an opportunity to showcase the diminished Cotto before his loyal fans. Even with the return of Ann Wolfe to Kirkland’s corner, the fight against Cotto was less desirable and no more welcome, in real terms, than the upcoming pay-per-view fight between Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
The downsides of Cotto-Kirkland were many. They were fighting at a catchweight. No discernible title was at stake. Both fighters are past their prime. And neither had fought in almost two years.
Perhaps those facts factored in the decision to cancel the bout, a possibility at which some writers have hinted (without any evidence to back it up). But even Cotto, who is understandably miffed, has cast doubt on the news of Kirkland’s broken nose.
“If James’ injury is real,” he said, “it’s understandable. If it were my case that some kind of injury occurred during training, I would not have any problem in demonstrating evidence that could support what was said. If that were the case, I urge Kirkland and his team to present the evidence where he is shown to have a ruptured nose.”
No evidence has been forthcoming thus far.
But whatever the cause of the fight being deep-sixed, with the undercards going down as collateral damage, the cancellation is a bigger blow to HBO, who was handling the pay-per-view, who was due to reap the benefits, than to boxing itself, which needed a gimme pay-per-view fight like Cotto vs. Kirkland like it needs a hole in the head.