Business as usual for Miguel Cotto

| November 9, 2015 | 0 Comentarios/ Comments

After accomplishing so much over the years, it could be said that at this stage of his career Miguel Cotto (40-4) has nothing left to prove in the boxing world. The reigning WBC middleweight champion is a future hall of famer based on his memorable career and accomplishments in the junior welterweight and welterweight divisions. Yet as the 35-year-old faces his toughest challenge in years versus the 25-year-old Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1) on November 21 in Las Vegas, the Puerto Rican great could deliver his greatest victory.

The addition of trainer Freddie Roach has revitalized the career of Cotto who feels he is still learning at this stage of his career and attributes his more efficient style to Roach. It’s something the veteran trainer has acknowledged and speaks of openly.

c/o Gabriela Ochoa

                                                                      c/o Gabriela Ochoa

“He used to look for just that knockout punch. He’s not doing that anymore. He’s breaking them down slowly and taking them out in the later rounds. We brought back his foot movement and his speed. The thing with Miguel is that if he hurts you, he will finish you,” said Roach.

No longer just a fighter depending on landing one big punch could be the change needed to defeat a young star like Alvarez. While dominant in his performance over James Kirkland last May, Alvarez has shown a sign of difficulty when his opponents have displayed a higher level of boxing skill, none greater than the lone man to defeat him Floyd Mayweather Jr.

For Cotto the ability to box and use movement to set up his heavy punches could be just what the doctor ordered if he is to score the upset that night in Vegas. Key sparring partners were chosen by Roach in order to present every scenario that Alvarez can bring into the ring.

Among those chosen to spar with Cotto are junior middleweight Glen Tapia who has heavy hands and can box in spots. Also junior welterweight standout Jose Ramirez jr. who is taller than Cotto and boxes very well from the outside. The 2012 Olympian from Avenal, California is a rising star and also prepares for his return to the ring on Dec 5. Now under the tutelage of Roach, he takes his rounds with Cotto as an advanced class in working with the best.

c/o Gabriela Ochoa

                                                                     c/o Gabriela Ochoa

“It’s been great. He’s a very smart fighter and very light on his feet. He focusses a lot on his defense now and I feel like that game plan has been working for him because he makes you miss and he counters,” said Ramirez.

For Ramirez this is an opportunity to get some great sparring from a great veteran while being a part of a big fight camp. Something that benefits him and Cotto.

“He used to be a fighter that rushed his offense but the way he’s fighting now you can tell he’s thinking more. It’s been a good experience for me, I learn a lot from these fighters. (Manny) Pacquiao for his fight against Chris Algeri and now Cotto, it just motivates me,” said Ramirez.

Much has been made about markings and bruises Cotto has displayed on his face lately but unlike any other sport, boxing training requires for the athletes to be hit in their preparation. So sparring sessions with various styles means that at some point a punch or two may land. Roach said that Cotto’s choice of an open face sparring headgear was the cause of this as his fighter is opposed to using the headgear with a face bar that allows for additional protection.

“It’s just a sign of a good punch, nothing more. I’m here to train hard and not celebrate anything. We’re here working and everyone knows their own role in our camp. We’re here just thinking of the fight. This is just another fight and we are ready for Nov 21 and we just hope that Canelo is ready for the fight,” said Cotto.

One noticeable difference in this visit to a Cotto camp was that he was all smiles and perhaps showing more content and relaxed attitude than ever before. This is something Roach attributes to the change in weight and Cotto not having to struggle to make weight.

“The one thing we did for Cotto was put him in a weight class he’s happy with. He’s happy because he has no trouble making weight. Making weight is hard work. When he was making 140 pounds it was hard work and he was miserable,” said Roach.



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