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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Roach ponders Pacquiao's plan

Trainer: Speed will be crucial against Cotto

Now that Manny Pacquiao has agreed to fight Miguel Cotto, trainer Freddie Roach will have several months to put Pacquiao's game plan in place for the Nov. 14 bout at the MGM Grand Garden.

Roach said he has been working on a strategy to beat Cotto for a couple of months.

"I know Cotto pretty well," Roach said. "But I haven't really studied him yet. I have a pretty good idea how we want to fight him, but until I sit down, watch the tapes and talk to Manny, we're still in the planning stage."

The bout will be contested at a catch weight of 145 pounds, between welterweight (147) and junior welterweight (140).

Pacquiao is relaxing at home in the Philippines, and Roach said serious training is probably a few weeks away. A typical Pacquiao camp lasts from eight to 10 weeks, starting in the Philippines, then moving to Roach's gym in Hollywood and finishing in Las Vegas.

"I'll go (to the Philippines) sometime next month and we'll get started," Roach said. "For this fight, speed is going to be important. I think if you get Cotto in a fast-paced fight, he'll tire. So we want to come out quick and set a fast pace. Speed is our biggest asset."

Roach said Cotto figures to be stronger than Oscar De La Hoya was when Pacquiao fought him in December at 147 pounds. He said Cotto's power is a factor.

"He's a little bit bigger and a little bit stronger," Roach said. "But I think Manny's the better boxer, and Manny's defense is the best it's been. I think Pacquiao will stop him along the way."

Roach has kept busy since Pacquiao knocked out Ricky Hatton on May 2. He was in London last weekend working Amir Khan's corner when Khan beat Andriy Kotelnik for the WBA junior welterweight title. While Roach was in London, one of his newest fighters, Cuban super bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux, was impressive at Planet Hollywood, winning by first-round knockout over Robert Griffin.

"Amir did a nice job. He looked very good," Roach said. "Rigondeaux, I heard he did well. He's a kid with a lot of talent. He's coming back to the gym this week, and we'll keep working with him and get him in the ring soon."

• ANGULO IN PRIMM -- Super welterweight Alfredo Angulo headlines an Aug. 7 card against Gabriel Rosado at Primm Valley Resorts.

Angulo (15-1, 12 knockouts) is coming off a 12-round loss to Kermit Cintron by unanimous decision in May. Angulo is ranked No. 6 by the WBC and WBA and No. 8 by the IBF and WBO. Rosado (12-3, seven KOs), has won seven of his last eight fights.

The Gary Shaw-promoted card will be televised by ESPN. Tickets are $10 and $35, and the card will start at 6 p.m.

Source: http://www.lvrj.com/sports/51734777.html

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