Canelo Alvarez lands a left hook to the jaw of Miguel Cotto during their November 2015 bout in Las Vegas/Associated Press photo by John Locher
We never like to hear about a fighter having to pull out of a scheduled bout because of an injury, so it was therefore somewhat of a bummer to hear that James Kirkland had to withdraw from his scheduled Feb. 25 junior middleweight fight against Miguel Cotto in Frisco, Texas.
Roc Nation announced Thursday that Kirkland had sustained a fractured nose. The news release did not say how it happened, but it doesn’t really matter. If he can’t fight, he can’t fight.
That said, this probably saves HBO a bit of embarrassment. See, the longtime boxing giant had for whatever reason decided to make this a pay-per-view bout. That was just ridiculous.
Cotto has not fought in nearly 15 months and is coming off a decision loss to Canelo Alvarez. Kirkland has not fought in 21 months and is coming off a third-round knockout loss to Alvarez.
Again, to think of this as a pay-per-view event was just absurd. If it is re-scheduled down the road, we’re hopeful HBO will realize that this belongs on its regular channel, not its pay-per-view arm.
Even if the promoters for the respective fighters somehow forced HBO’s hand – and we don’t know that – HBO needs to be in control. It must stay away from making obvious non-pay-per-view fights into pay-per-view. No one should push this company around, after all it’s done over the decades.