After Miguel Cotto finally got an opponent for his next fight, James Kirkland, Cotto’s opponent, suffered an unfortunate injury forcing the fight to be canceled.
Roc Nation Sports, which represents Cotto, announced Cotto vs. Kirkland will no longer happen after Kirkland suffered a fractured nose. Roc Nation Sports said it received "notification from James Kirkland's team that Kirkland has suffered an injury which will force him to withdraw. James wanted to tough it out and not tell anyone about it but that's not the right thing to do. The doctor confirmed the break, took three X-rays and that's where we are. He's very disappointed."
The entire card, which was supposed to headline an HBO pay-per-view on February 25 at The Star, the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility, has been canceled.
Michael Miller, who is Kirkland’s manager, told ESPN the injury happened during a sparring session late January and that the doctor told Kirkland he should avoid contact and boxing activities for six to eight weeks.
"When it happened he was hoping it wasn't broken, but it bled like crazy," Miller said. "He thought it was just a bloody nose but when he sparred again on Tuesday and he knew he was hurt and (trainer Ann Wolfe) said he should go to the doctor and sure enough it was broken. James wanted to tough it out and not tell anyone about it but that's not the right thing to do. The doctor confirmed the break, took three X-rays and that's where we are. He's very disappointed."
While Cotto vs. Kirkland did not have any stakes as far as titles or title consideration was concerned, the co-main event did have WBA “super” junior featherweight world titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux defending his title against “interim” champion Moises Flores.
Cotto will now have to wait even longer for a boxing fight. He last fought in November 2015 in a unanimous decision loss to Canelo Alvarez, where Cotto lost his world middleweight title. Cotto, Puerto Rico's first ever world champion at four different weight classes, did announce recently that 2017 would be his last year as a boxer.