By Keith Idec
Two fighters Canelo Alvarez has beaten won’t draw the type of crowd the Mexican superstar helped lure to Jerry Jones’ football stadium September 17.
Jones still expects the Miguel Cotto-James Kirkland fight to be successful at the gate February 25 in Frisco, Texas. The Dallas Cowboys’ owner says he expects a crowd in excess of 10,000 to attend the HBO Pay-Per-View main event between Puerto Rico’s Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) and Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs), of Austin, Texas, at his team’s training facility – The Ford Center at The Star.
The card headlined by Cotto-Kirkland will be the first professional sporting event at Jones’ venue, which opened over the summer. In addition to serving as the Cowboys’ practice facility and team headquarters, The Ford Center at The Star has hosted high school football games, which are well attended throughout Texas.
“We can do 20,000 for a fight [at The Ford Center at The Star], but we’re expecting over 10,000 for the event,” Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram at a press conference Monday to officially announce Cotto-Kirkland. “We thought it’d be a good way to initiate our first pro effort here, so we really deliberately looked for an event that would fit here, as opposed to AT&T Stadium.
“So this has been in the planning a little while, not to mention we looked at possibly a series of these fights here.”
Jones is a boxing fan and wants to capitalize on the large Mexican-American population in and around Dallas by regularly bringing boxing to his venues. Alvarez’s ninth-round knockout of England’s Liam Smith drew an announced crowd of 51,240 to AT&T Stadium, the Cowboys’ home stadium, on September 17 in Arlington, Texas.
AT&T Stadium also was site of Manny Pacquiao’s victories over Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito in 2010.
The Pacquiao-Clottey event drew an announced crowd of 50,994 in March 2010. The Pacquiao-Margarito main event was attended by an announced crowd of 41,734 in November 2010.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.