By Keith Idec
Ann Wolfe thinks skeptics are underestimating how entertaining of an action fight Miguel Cotto-James Kirkland will turn out to be.
Wolfe fired back at critics of Cotto-Kirkland being made an HBO Pay-Per-View main event February 25 in Frisco, Texas, during a press conference to officially announce the fight Monday at the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility. Cotto-Kirkland could be the first pay-per-view event of five in consecutive months next year, but Wolfe contended it’ll be well worth the extra cost.
“A lot of people are saying this shouldn’t be pay-per-view,” said Wolfe, Kirkland’s trainer. “Bullsh*t. This should be pay-per-view, because you know if I’m with James, he’s gonna fight. Regardless of who Cotto’s with [Freddie Roach], he’s gonna fight. So I’m telling you, I’m here to tell y’all, it’s gonna be a good fight. Somebody is going to get knocked out – somebody. Come and watch and see who it’s gonna be.”
The only two defeats of Kirkland’s career – knockout losses to Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida in the first round and Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez in the third round – came when Wolfe wasn’t working with him. Kirkland rehired Wolfe, one of the most vicious female fighters in boxing history, to train him to fight Cotto in a 12-rounder that’ll be contested at Cotto’s preferred catch weight of 153 pounds.
“I know everybody know I’m not one for all that talking, even the sh*t-talking or whatever,” Wolfe said. “Every time Miguel has entered the ring, I was rooting for him to win. Every time James entered the ring, even though I wasn’t there, I was rooting for him to win. So this is gonna be the first time I won’t be rooting for Miguel to win.”
The 36-year-old Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) hasn’t fought since he lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) 13 months ago in Las Vegas. The Puerto Rican icon will end a 15-month layoff by the time he encounters Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs), an Austin, Texas, native who hasn’t boxed since Alvarez knocked him out in their May 2015 fight in Houston.
Kirkland, 32, will end a 21-month layoff the night he enters the ring to face Cotto.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.