HBO Sports Executive Vice President Peter Nelson has asked those against Miguel Cotto v James Kirkland being a Pay-Per-View fight to allow the supporters to make their own decision.
Criticism followed HBO’s finalization of Cotto’s first fight in over a year as Kirkland is less than the headline name many expected for the Puerto Rican’s anticipated return to the pay platform.
Nelson is hoping early ticket sales and reception towards the encounter builds before February 25 date in Texas as all connected with Cotto attempt to keep the multi-weight champion’s name relevant enough to warrant an extended stay on HBO PPV.
“Fans can decide how they want to watch the fight or if they want to watch the fight,” said Nelson.
“Ultimately, what you see is that the original pay-per-view was whether or not fans are buying tickets for a fight. That’s already happening, you’re already seeing momentum. People know that this is an incredibly high-quality pick up match between Cotto and Kirkland, and that’s what people show up to buy and people want to see.
“I give Roc Nation and Jerry Jones and these two fighters credit for wanting to get out in front of the market place. Some of the fights that people talk about being pay-per-view fights end up never coming together, we see this in boxing every single year.
“The key is who can get the fights done that fans want to see. That’s at the core of whether or not people are going to show up. To Roc Nation and Jerry’s credit and the fighters, they got the job done here.”
Cotto has made no secret of his desire to rematch Canelo Alvarez in the second half of 2017, although faces competition from Gennady Golovkin, who has already been promised a headliner against the Mexican.