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Miguel Cotto vs James Kirkland set for Feb. 25

Miguel Cotto will end a 15-month layoff when he takes on James Kirkland on HBO PPV.

Miguel Cotto v Canelo Alvarez Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Miguel Cotto has officially reached an agreement to take on aggressive puncher James Kirkland on February 25th at the Ford Center at The Star — the new training facility of the Dallas Cowboys. Bryan Perez of Cotto Promotions made the announcement to ESPN on Wednesday.

"Miguel is back in the ring and we are all excited," Perez said. "Like he always does, Miguel wants to go in the ring and put on a great show."

What certainly won’t thrill fans, however, is that this Cotto-Kirkland fight is slated to headline a HBO PPV, which will serve as Cotto’s final fight under contract with Roc Nation Sports.

Fan favorite Guillermo Rigondeaux is also expected to be paired on this PPV card, which is, ya know, just awesome, man! I mean the last time he was paired with Cotto on a PPV it turned out just fantastic! Just great! Not one horrific experience. In this outing Rigo will be making a mandatory defense against interim titlist Moises Flores.

So, as if you haven’t caught my drift, this is not exactly what you’d hope for in terms of a PPV event. Hell, I’m a little hard-pressed to watch Rigo fight for free after that Drian Francisco fiasco — never mind the thought of shelling out $70 for the privilege!

But as it so happens, Roc Nation owes headliner Miguel Cotto at least a $10 million dollar minimum for this last contracted fight, which makes it nonviable for a standard HBO telecast. In all likelihood this PPV event will wind up being a gigantic sinkhole, but hey, go through the motions we must.

Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) hasn’t fought since losing a unanimous decision to Canelo Alvarez in November 2015 where he lost the WBC middleweight title. The mercurial Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs) also hasn’t fought since losing to Alvarez in May 2015, in a brief but action-packed fight.

On a bright note, Kirkland is rumored to have reunited with former trainer Ann Wolfe once again, with whom he’s had a complicated relationship. Kirkland is undefeated under her guidance and always seems to be able to dig deeper with her in his corner. This could turn out to be a really fun fight, but probably not worth the price of admission.

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