Five-Time World Champion Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) and James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs) participated in a media tour with stops in New York City and Los Angeles to address the media on their upcoming showdown on Saturday, February 25 at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Dubbed as “The Return”, the 12-round junior middleweight contest 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 are available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000 and the AT&T Stadium box office.
Below is what the fighters and dais guests had to say in New York City and Los Angeles:
Miguel Cotto – Five-Time World Champion
“James is a tough fighter and stout boxer and he’s going to go to work with victory on his mind. I’m going to work with that, too. We are going to start camp with Freddie and we are looking forward to the fight.
“I will do my best as always in Los Angeles with Freddie Roach commanding our group. All we need is to be ready for Kirkland.
“It’s going to be a great fight, I know that James always comes with a wiry attitude. And I’m going to do the same.
“Jerry Jones is a great promotor. I have a lot of respect for the Dallas Cowboys organization. It’s great to have them support this event.
James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland
“I’m definitely going to put on a great performance against an icon and legend like Miguel Cotto.
“I definitely feel this is a step up. Like I said, it’s Miguel Cotto. Someone who’s been putting on for the sport of boxing for a long time and I’m definitely feeling like this is a great opportunity for me to bounce back. I’m definitely going to give my fans a great performance.
“I just have one agenda, one focus, one mind frame and this is set for February 25.
“Boxing is always a learning experience. And I’ve learned from fighting Alvarez and certain people that I’ve made mistakes against. I take those mistakes and I build from them. I try to learn. I’ve learned a lot from my defeats. Biggest thing that I’ve learned is move your head!
“I’m more focused than ever. Cotto is somebody who has fought all of the greats so I know that he has many tricks up his sleeves and that he prepares well for his fights. At the end of the day, to fight someone who knows the sport, I think about what would he do and how he would feel about certain things. I try to get in the head of Miguel Cotto when I’m training. I’m anxious for the opportunity and I’m thankful for the opportunity.
Freddie Roach – Trainer of Miguel Cotto
“James Kirkland always fights better with Ann Wolfe in his corner. He’s doing everything possible to be the best in this fight and we’re going to do the same.”
Michael Yormark – Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy
“On Feb. 25 at Ford Center at The Star, we will witness the big return of boxing legend Miguel Cotto. This is the first pay-per-view fight of the year and this will be Miguel Cotto’s 10th pay-per-view fight of his career. I know there has been some stories and comments out of the market, pre-holiday, regarding the pay-per-view status of this fight. Miguel Cotto has been a pay-per-view fighter for a long time. He is a pay-per-view fighter. This fight belongs on pay-per-view.
“We priced this fight very attractively, $49.95. We listened to consumers, we heard what they wanted to see. HBO heard what they wanted too which is why we priced it at $49.95, a great value proposition. Think about what this fight is going to be…action packed…and will probably end in a knock out. So people who buy this fight can anticipate a lot of action, hard punching and probably a knockout. That is what people what to see, that is what they are willing to investment their money in if they are confident that they are going to get it.
“James Kirkland is an aggressive and lethal opponent. The perfect opponent for Miguel Cotto. From the opening bell, you are going to see action. That is what this fight is all about. For as long as it lasts, it’s going to be a brawl and whoever wins this fight, will move on to a huge fight in 2017. So, there is a lot at stake here.
“It’s all about entertainment and it’s all about value proposition. We know that people want to see this fight. The local market place is telling us that. We have sold over 50% of our tickets during the holidays. Now typically as you know, people don’t usually buy tickets during the holiday but we ‘ve got a great partner in Jerry Jones and the Cowboys, who have really been promoting this fight, very aggressively. We’ve sold over 50% of the inventory with seven weeks to go so people are showing that they want to see this fight.
“We have a great relationship with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys organization through our client, Dez Bryant. We knew that Jerry was looking for a high profile event to bring as the first professional sporting event to The Star. Jerry also has an incredible passion for boxing. With all of the success that he had promoting with Oscar De La Hoya and the Canelo fight that took place at AT&T Stadium, we sat down with Jerry and his team and asked if he would be interested in doing this fight and he said absolutely. Let’s not forget that the Cowboys have the largest Hispanic following in the NFL. We know that is going to help us sell tickets; it already has. Jerry Jones is clearly one of the greatest promoters in the world whether it’s the Cowboys or any event that he brings into one of his venues. He is the best of the best and his marketing team is second to none. You add all of that together and you’ve got a great, no-lose combination. Then you have a great, action packed fight. This was the right venue at the right time, in the right market with the right partner.”
Mike Miller – Manager of James Kirkland
“From Team Kirkland, we just want to thank Roc Nation, HBO Pay-Per-View and Team Cotto for the opportunity. We look forward to showing our talent on February 25. Texas is our home state. And with Ann Wolfe training James, he’s never lost. He’s got a tremendous knock out record percentage. We look forward to the upcoming weeks of training. When the bell rings, we’ll be ready come February 25. Get your tickets early. Texas is going to come out proud and strong for James.”
Cotto vs. Kirkland is a 12-round junior middleweight fight presented by Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions and Ford Center at The Star, and is 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.
For more information, please visit www.throneboxing.com. Follow Roc Nation on Twitter @rocnation and Instagram @rocnationsports and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RocNation.
For more information, visit www.hbo.com/boxing, follow on Twitter and Instagram at @HBOBoxing and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HBOBoxing. Follow the conversation using #CottoKirkland.