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Roach: Cotto’s fight with Delvin Rodriguez is a must-win

Delvin Rodriguez Freddie Roach Miguel CottoBy Dan Ambrose: Trainer Freddie Roach sees Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KO’s) with his back literally against the wall in his fight in 2 weeks against fringe junior middleweight contender Delvin Rodriguez (28-6-3, 16 KO’s) on October 5th at the Amway Center, in Orlando, Florida, USA.

Roach has tinkered with the 32-year-old Cotto’s fighting style, and he now has him throwing a lot more left hooks to the body compared to what he’s been doing in his recent bouts. Roach believes bringing back Cotto’s body punching will be the fountain of youth for the aging Puerto Rican star. I’m not so sure if that’s going to bring about any real change in him.

Roach said “We [Cotto] are in a must-win situation for sure…I want to bring back that work to the body – his bread and butter…we just need a reminder of the fundamentals of boxing…when you think of Miguel Cotto, you think of great body work…I can’t wait for him to get in the ring for the first time with me in the corner.”

Roach shouldn’t have too many expectations about Cotto. After all, this isn’t a young Cotto we’re talking about here. He has a lot of mileage on him from his numerous wars, and he doesn’t look like the same fighter he was before 2009. Even when Cotto was in his prime, we saw him getting hurt by guys like Ricardo Torres, Zab Judah, DeMarcus Corley and Randall Bailey.

This was when Cotto was throwing lots of body shots with both hands, and yet he was still getting hurt by these guys. Now that Cotto is older, he shouldn’t expect him to be a superior fighter to what he was earlier in his career. If anything, Roach should realize that Cotto is probably 80-90 percent of what he was in the past now, and that’s not going to be enough for him to beat the likes of Austin Trout.

Cotto’s options for future fights are pretty limited at this point other than a second fight against Manny Pacquiao. With him fighting for Top Rank, that means no fights against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Floyd Mayweather Jr. Cotto will likely be limited to mixing it up with Bob Arum’s welterweights like Tim Bradley or some of his light welterweights, such as Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios.

Delvin Rodriguez has been brought in for Cotto to get a guaranteed win against him, because this guy [Rodriguez] has been beaten by the likes of Ashley Theophane, Austin Trout, Rafal Jackiewicz and Isaac Hlatshwayo in the past 4 years. If Cotto can’t beat Rodriguez on October 5th, then it’s safe to say that it’s all over for Cotto.

Roach can continue to tinker with Cotto’s fighting style all he wants at that point, but he’s not going to discover something that’s not already been brought out in his game. Cotto’s past trainers have gotten all they can out of him, and Roach isn’t going to find a gold mine of undiscovered talent in him.

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