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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Roach wants a brawling, ‘crazy’ Cotto

THERE’S A REASON why Freddie Roach has been baiting Miguel Cotto into a word war with taunting one-liners—and it has nothing to do with disrespect.

“Cotto is a tough guy, a very strong guy,” Roach said. “I respect him.”

Rather, the renowned trainer wants the Puerto Rican champion mentally roughed up on fight night when Manny Pacquiao guns for his WBO welterweight belt on Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“We want him to go crazy,” Roach said. “I want him to hate my guts. I’ll get inside his head [whenever] I can.”

And that’s just phase one of Roach’s plan, which he got going by predicting Pacquiao would knock Cotto in one round. It isn’t plain needling, though. Told that Cotto is studying to become a counterpuncher for the fight dubbed “Firepower,” Roach actually hopes to rock the 29-year-old champion early to lure him into a brawl.

If he gets knocked down in the first round, he’s gonna go crazy,” Roach said. “We want to throw him off. He’s gonna try to be a counterpuncher but if Manny hits him, he’s gonna be back to his aggressive style and that’s where were gonna hit him.”

Roach has studied Cotto’s fights in the past and knows his penchant for slow starts and he expects Pacquiao to set the pace early.

“We will not give him any momentum,” Roach said. “I think we’re going to have a window of opportunity to catch him cold so we have to put some pressure on him right away but we are going to do it in a scientific way. Manny is not [the] reckless fighter that he once was. He’s a lot stronger now.

And part of that strength comes from the work the Filipino ring icon puts into training.

Talking to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, Top Rank chief Bob Arum, who is promoting the fight, praised the way Pacquiao works out in preparation for bouts.

“I know Cotto works hard, but in contrast to the other guy [Pacquiao], it looks like he’s taking a vacation,” Arum said. “Pacquiao goes for, like, four or five hours. It’s amazing. They train differently. Pacquiao is so work-intensive. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.

“When I was with Cotto, I saw him do 10 rounds one day and six rounds another day. He looked good. He’d do his two hours and be done. After two hours, Manny’s just getting started. I’m glad Manny pays Freddie a lot of money, because he earns it.”

Former lightweight champion and Pacquiao sparmate Jose Luis Castillo had the same thing to say in an interview with the LA Times’ Lance Pugmire.

“You have to have [guts] to get in the ring with [Pacquiao], he’s very dedicated and is all about constant preparation. It’s going to be a great fight. The more intelligent man will win, and Manny is very smart.”

Source: http://sports.inquirer.net/professional/professional/view/20091028-232791/Roach-wants-a-brawling-crazy--Cotto

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