Miguel Cotto And The Pay Per View Event You Probably Won’t Buy
By: Sean Crose
Okay, admittedly, the title of this piece is dripping in hyperbole. Surely there are those who will cough up good money to see past his prime superstar Miguel Cotto – 40-5 – go head to head with the enigmatic and infrequently in the ring James Kirkland – 32-2 – at the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility in late February. Why good money will be paid for a fight which, for all intents and purposes, belongs on regular HBO is beyond me. Again, though, some will undoubtedly pay. My guess, however, is that not many will. Not many at all.
The truth is that Cotto hasn’t fought since he lost a close one to Canelo Alvarez in a true mega bout over a year ago. As for Kirkland, he hasn’t fought since Canelo laid him out flat a week after Mayweather and Pacquiao met in their disappointing dud of a supermatch back in 2015. Considering that both men are coming off a loss, that both men are highly inactive, that neither man is considered the top fighter anywhere between the weights of 150-160 pounds, it’s clear this isn’t a fight that’s relevant enough to warrant a pay per view card.
Yet the fight will appear on pay per view regardless. Word is that Roc Nation Sports, which represents Cotto, must pay the man so much for his fights that the outfit has no choice but to go the pay per view route (under the banner of HBO). That’s too bad for Roc Nation and HBO – but it’s even worse for fans, who wouldn’t mind seeing the bout. It’s sure to be entertaining after all, considering the parties involved. The bottom line, however, is Cotto-Kirkland is not pay per view material. A Big Mac can be a terrific Burger, but it’s not worth twenty bucks a pop…just like this fight simply doesn’t warrant a price tag.
The truth of course, is that boxing fans – and this is particularly true in the case of casual fans – are done with pay per view events, at least for the time being. Whether they made money or not, pay per view shows like Kovalev-Ward, Pacquiao-Vargas, Canelo-Smith and Crawford-Postol have been far from huge successes. Indeed, the days of Mayweather-Guererro are over, much less the days of Mayweather-Pacquiao. In other words, the pay per view market is hurting.
Here might be at least part of the problem, however:
That there are some fighters who have, and still, get paid more than their market value. Everyone wants to see fighters get the money they deserve. The history of the sport has been littered with short changing, after all. Yet perhaps the pendulum, at least in some cases, may have swung too far the other way. And this particular pay per view card might well be indicative of that problem.