Although the biggest event of the year might have passed in May, the biggest fight in terms of action is still to come according to boxing trainer Freddie Roach.
The Hollywood-based handler spoke with Tha Boxing Voice’s Fernando Pimentel and expressed that the two men who will meet on Saturday night have resumes that suggest a fan-friendly fight.
“On paper at least, these two guys look like they’re going to fight each other really, really hard,” Roach said during a media workout at his famed Wild Card gym. “It looks great cause I now my guy’s coming to fight and I know that Mexico will be behind their fighter and he’s going to come in with a lot of pride also and both guys are fighting for their country.”
Roach’s ward, Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KO’s) of Puerto Rico, will cross paths and swap fists with Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KO’s) on HBO pay-per-view. Roach is no stranger to fights with national pressure as he trained Manny Pacquiao who carried the hopes of his native Philippines against Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico and against Ricky Hatton of England. In both cases, national pride was at stake and factions from both countries came out to support their man.
Roach went on to discuss the “great” rivalry between the two countries which began years before Roach took to boxing himself.
“I remember my father use to tell me about ‘Little Red’ Lopez and all these guys fighting, rivalries and so forth, back in the day way before my time when I was a baby so (because of) history this fight looks to be a great one.”
Roach gave a small insight to the game-plan for the fight, after Pimentel mentioned that he saw Cotto performing multiple stamina-building exercises, further pointing out that Canelo has struggled in the past against boxers and movers and asked Roach if mobility was part of the strategy to beat the crimson-crusher.
“It’s part of the strategy, yeah,” Roach divulged. “To make him (Canelo) move and so-forth. We’re not going to stand there right in front of him and just go toe-to-toe with him and we’ll use angles and angles work really well . . . cause Canelo is more of a straight-ahead fighter and fights in straight lines.”
Roach went on to explain how Cotto’s use of angles will allow him to turn his hook over Canelo’s punches. Roach also said that Cotto may have showed too much to the media during his workout but did not seem too worried. The veteran trainer seems supremely confident in his fighter’s chances of beating the younger man who at 25 has amassed respect as one of the sports top athletes.
Pimentel also noted the shiner that has pitched a tent under Cotto’s eye and gave Roach an opportunity to clear rumors that can circulate from training wounds.
“The thing is we work hard here,” Roach said with a grin. “. . . It’s part of the process for getting ready for the fight.”