NEW YORK, NY (December 19, 2016) – Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions are pleased to announce that Five-Time World Champion Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) will return to the ring on Saturday, February 25, 2017 when he takes on James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs) at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Coming off respective losses to Canelo Alvarez, both fighters will be seeking redemption in a 12-round junior middleweight showdown. 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.
Cotto and Kirkland will join Roc Nation Sports and the Dallas Cowboys organization on Monday, December 19, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. CT for a press conference at Ford Center at The Star to officially announce the fight. This will be the first event of its kind to be held at the state-of-the-art, 510,000 square foot indoor athletic facility shared by the Dallas Cowboys, the City of Frisco, and Frisco ISD’s high schools. Ford Center at The Star is also the home to the Dallas Cowboys Football World Corporate Headquarters.
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.
“I’m excited to return to the ring and put on a great show. I can’t wait to start training camp and get ready for February 25,” said Five-Time World Champion Miguel Cotto. “Fighting inside the beautiful Ford Center, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboy’s newest creation, and headlining the first ever boxing event there pumps me with a lot of enthusiasm and energy.”
“I'm very excited to get back into the ring against a legend like Miguel Cotto. I'm going to train like never before so I can show the world that the old James Kirkland is back,” said James Kirkland. “You know the fight will be exciting while it lasts. February 25 can’t come soon enough.”
“Miguel Cotto is back and ready to put on an exciting show against the always tough James Kirkland,” said Hector Soto, Vice President of Miguel Cotto Promotions. “We can't wait to see Miguel back in the ring on February 25 on HBO Pay-Per-View.”
“On behalf of Roc Nation Sports, we are so thrilled about Miguel Cotto's return to the ring and to bring the first public event to Ford Center at The Star,” said Michael Yormark, Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy. “This will undoubtedly be a historic event with an exciting, all-action bout in store for the fans in Frisco and all of North Texas along with those watching from home on HBO Pay-Per-View.”
“We are excited to host an incredible matchup for the very first boxing match here at Ford Center at The Star,” said Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager. “This venue was designed with the idea of versatility in mind, and we expect a great crowd in Frisco, Texas to experience a world class fight between Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland.”
“Throughout his brilliant ring career, Miguel Cotto has never backed down from a challenge and on February 25 he takes on a dangerous knockout specialist in James Kirkland,” said Tony Walker, Vice President, HBO Pay-Per-View. “Fans watching live in Frisco and those tuning in on pay-per-view should not blink in what should be an all-action slugfest.”
Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) is a former WBC and Ring Magazine middleweight world champion and the first native of Puerto Rico to become world champion in four different weight classes. He previously held the WBO junior welterweight world title, the WBA welterweight world title, the WBO welterweight world title and the WBA super welterweight world title. He also represented Puerto Rico in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Cotto has competed in 24 world championship fights, compiling a record of 19-5 with 16 knockouts in those bouts. In Puerto Rico, he is hailed as a national hero and the successor of Felix “Tito” Trinidad as the island's most revered boxer. Cotto is one of the biggest gate attractions in boxing and one of the largest pay-per-view draws among active fighters. In June 2014, Cotto made history in his first fight as a middleweight by dominating Argentine southpaw and defending WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez. He is trained by legendary Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach and has fought some of the biggest names in the sport including Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. Cotto owns his own boxing promotional company in Puerto Rico, Miguel Cotto Promotions, and presides over his charity La Fundación El Ángel de Miguel Cotto, a non-profit organization dedicated to combatting childhood obesity. In March 2015, Cotto and Roc Nation Sports announced that they had entered into a partnership that includes a co-promotional agreement with Miguel Cotto Promotions to promote Cotto's fights. On June 6, 2015, Cotto defended his WBC, Ring Magazine and lineal middleweight world championships against former two-time World Champion Daniel Geale at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Cotto scored a thunderous knockdown early in the fourth round before finishing matters with a second knockdown midway through the round, which left Geale unable to continue. On November 21, 2015, Cotto cemented his status as one of the biggest pay-per-view draws among active fighters in his much anticipated mega-fight against Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, despite going the distance for a twelve-round unanimous decision loss. The hard-fought bout has been dubbed as the biggest fight in the history of the famed Puerto Rico vs. Mexico boxing rivalry. The Five-Time World Champion is eager to return to the ring against James Kirkland on February 25.
A Texas titan, representing the city of Austin, 32-year-old southpaw James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs) has built his reputation with explosive power. His fists have accounted for 28 knockout victories over the course of his nearly 14-year professional career. A former NABO and WBC Continental Americas Champion, Kirkland bounced back from his lone defeat against Nobuhiro Ishida in 2011 with five consecutive wins, four coming by way of knockout. Kirkland has defeated Brian Vera, Alfredo “Perro” Angulo and Carlos “King” Molina and handed Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia his first professional loss by way of a punishing sixth round technical knockout, prior to taking the stage for a 12-round super welterweight war with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on May 9, 2015 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
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.