“We are in a must-win situation for sure. That’s why we are working so hard and we are working well together. We start conditioning work every morning at 5 AM and that ends at 8 AM. That leaves Miguel a little time to rest then we come back to the gym at 2 PM and from 2-4 we are sparring or working with the mitts. We do about nine rounds every day. We are working real hard and we know what the situation is.”
By those words from Freddie Roach, it makes you believe that the boxing marriage between himself and Miguel Cotto is on the right track and could be the unity that brings Miguel back to the top of the sport for whoever many fights he has left in his tank. When Miguel was at his pinnacle, he had probably the best left hook to the body in boxing. Over the years, it has disappeared but Roach is determined to bring it back.
“I think that’s a big part of what we have been working on. When you think of Miguel Cotto, you think of great bodywork. Lefts to the body, we have been working on quite a bit and we have also been working on a lot of new moves and it’s been working out really well. Again is work ethic he has brought and I’m happy with it,” explained Roach.
Roach also told the media that he’s not changing much from Cotto’s arsenal, just tweaking a few things and getting back to the basics.
“We are what we are and it’s pretty much when he was at his best it was the fundamentals of boxing which he excelled at and he had gotten away from the body attack a little bit and we got that back in line. He’s been getting a little older and so-forth so we cut back in the roadwork and do more conditioning because running every day for six days a week your whole life is hard on your body. So we cut back on that a little bit and added a few things to replace it. It’s going really well and I can’t wait for him to get in the ring for the first time with me in the corner.”
Roach has studied Miguel, especially when he was in the opposite corner when Cotto took on Manny Pacquiao in a mega fight in 2009. It was then Roach noticed Cotto’s strengths and weaknesses and has been a gauge on how to improve Cotto.
“Miguel is going to hit you with the left hook to the body and that was something we (Pacquiao) had to stay away from. That was the biggest thing we worked on in camp. Miguel would sometimes get a little lazy with his punches. He has great speed with his punches so we have been working on that and it’s been working quite well,” stated Roach.
So if this marriage works out, how far can Cotto go with Roach? A few wins and a world title? Roach think so.
“There is a good future and that’s why we are working so hard to win this fight. We know we are in a must-win situation but a win here will put us in position for a lot of good things. I want Miguel to win a world title again and I look forward to being a part of that.”
The reason he feels that way is based on Cotto’s experience, that same experience is why Roach feels that Cotto did better than Canelo Alvarez against one Floyd Mayweather just a week ago.
“I definitely thought Miguel had a better fight with Floyd and everyone in the world knows that. It just wasn’t Canelo’s night. I don’t know what it was – making the weight or being in there with a very experienced guy with him being a young guy coming up. Miguel has a lot more experience and experience is something you have to earn. I’m sure Canelo did the best he could but it wasn’t nearly good enough.”