Now that James Kirkland has reunited with trainer Ann Wolfe for his fight against Miguel Cotto, many are curious to see what kind of performance he’ll be able to put on.
Kirkland, who will have been out of action for almost two years by fight night, has been rumored to have blown up far beyond his fighting weight since his last fight. And with this fight contracted to take place at a catchweight of 153lbs, some wonder if Kirkland will be able to hit the mark without severely compromising himself.
FightHype caught video of the opening press conference announcing Cotto-Kirkland, and this particular segment focuses on Ann Wolfe’s thoughts about preparing Kirkland for the fight. Here’s what she had to say:
“I know everybody knows I’m not one for all that talking, even the shit talking or whatever. Every time Miguel has entered the ring, I was rooting for him to win. Every time James has entered the ring, even though I wasn’t there, I was rooting for him to win. So this will be the first time I won’t be rooting for Miguel to win.
“Now a lot of people are saying that this shouldn’t be pay-per-view — bullshit. This should be pay-per-view because you know if I’m with James, he’s gonna fight. Regardless of who Cotto is with, he’s gonna fight...so I’m here to tell ya’ll, it’s gonna be a good fight. Somebody is going to get knocked out...come and watch and see who it’s gonna be.
“I’m always here. I train a lot of kids and I tell them ‘if you come to me and you’re sincere, you can come back 1000 times. But when you’re not sincere, don’t come. And [Kirkland] has always respected me, and I respect him. When he don’t come to me, we can still keep that respect. But when he does come to me he understands that we’re not playing. So that’s just how it is between us. Even my friends, if you leave me 1000 times, and you wanna be my friend 1000 times, I’m right here.”
On if Kirkland can box with Cotto or if he just needs to slug it out:
“You don’t know what to expect...Cotto can box and he can bang and with him coming up in weight he’s brung his power up. A lot of people say Cotto doesn’t have that much power, that’s bullshit. James can box he just never does...So what we’re gonna try to do is, I’m gonna try to get James in the best shape that I possibly can with the time that I have, even with the weight being at what it is...”
“For James to make what he is, and for me to make who I am, give us a chance to fight the best of the best. Get knocked on your ass or knock them on their ass, that’s all you can do.”
On the amount of time Kirkland has spent out of the ring:
“The layoff, to me, don’t have much to do with it. I mean you’re gonna see some ring rust and this and that but when you got these type of fighters, they’re gonna fight regardless. It doesn’t matter about how long they’ve taken off. And with Freddie Roach, he’s one of the best. So it’s like I get a chance for us to fight the best and go up against the best...”