Miguel Cotto has always done his best talking inside the ring, and through his decisions. As a yapper, he's no Hall of Famer. Sure, during the Margacheato fiasco, the Puerto Rican's blood pressure and message directness rose a few notches, but by and large, if you want to hear a boxer make waves, you look elsewhere.That's why nobody expected to hear much out of the ordinary during a conference call last week featuring Cotto (37-4 with 30 KOs; turns 33 on Oct. 29) talking about his Oct. 5 date against Delvin Rodriguez (28-6-3 with 16 KOs; age 33) in Florida, on a Top Rank card.
But Cotto's new trainer--that's a phrase that I employ about once every two years, it seems, with Cotto--Freddie Roach isn't afraid to make the proverbial wave, shut down his filter a bit, and talk truth.
Here are the top 4 takeaways from the Roach-Cotto call.
1) NO GO ON COTTO-PACQUIAO II Roach was asked what he'd do if a sequel was set for Pacman, his top client, and Cotto. They met in Nov. 2009, with Pacquiao securing a TKO win in the 12th, with that being the last time he has stopped a foe. "I talked to Manny about it a little bit because Manny asked me if he could watch Miguel work out and I said ‘of course you can.’ So Manny came to watch. They shook hands and they are friends. Manny and Miguel will never fight each other. They have had their fight and it’s over. Miguel is a 154-pounder and Manny is 147. They are friends now and once Manny becomes friends with someone he will never fight them. They won’t fight and I guarantee you that." Cotto seconded that notion. "I don’t look forward to fighting anyone at 147," Cotto said."I don’t think Manny is looking forward to fighting anyone at 154. I think we both have our own careers and that’s the way it will stay." Good info..but I wouldn't treat it as gospel, not with Cotto's history of switching tutors. 2) BACK TO THE BODY Roach gave a broad hint of what he wants to see from the boxer, who last gloved up in Dec. 2012, losing a UD12 to Austin Trout. "I watched the Trout fight and we talked about why he thought he lost that fight," Roach said. "He thought he wasn’t busy enough and I want to bring back that work to the body – his bread and butter. That’s what got him to where he is today. I am not going to change him of course because he is a great fighter as he is. We just need a reminder of the fundamentals of boxing. I just want to bring back the best of Miguel Cotto – lefts to the body then to the head and efficient combinations and breaking his opponent down– that’s where we want to get to." 3) NO MORE TRAINER HOPSCOTCH Cotto was asked how he settled on Roach (the two seem to be jelling, as seen in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo, above), after ditching Uncle Evangelista, Joe Santiago, Manny Steward, and Pedro Diaz, who helmed him in back to back losses to Floyd Mayweather and then Trout. "At this point in my career I realized that I want my career to finish with Freddie on my side," Cotto said. "The way things are going makes me feel like I am going to finish my career with him here. I feel I can do the best I can with Freddie." OK, the cynic sees this statement and considers that Cotto with trainers is like Liz Taylor and husbands, but, hey, who knows. 4) NO SUGAR COTTO-ING CANELO EFFORT "I definitely thought Miguel had a better fight with Floyd and everyone in the world knows that," said Roach when asked about Canelo's effort vs. Mayweather on Sept. 14. "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." You'll recall that a Cotto-Canelo fight was a hoped for destination for May 2013, but that fell off the rails when Cotto lost to Trout, and the political scene got more complicated with HBO spurning Golden Boy, who works with Alvarez. This being boxing, where strange bedfellows hook up pretty often, we can't dismiss the possibility of seeing Cotto fighting Alvarez down the line.