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I don’t see how Roach has changed Cotto, says Sarmiento

cotto644By Dan Ambrose: Trainer Freddie Roach has said that he’s made changed to Miguel Cotto’s style of fighting to have him implementing his hook more than in the recent past, but Pablo Sarmiento, the trainer for WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, doesn’t see any changes to Cotto’s style of fighting at all.

Sarmiento listens to what Roach says, but he sees the same fighter virtually unchanged. Sarmiento concludes that Cotto is the same fighter he always was and that he would have beaten his last opponent Delvin Rodriguez even before Roach got there.

“Honestly, I don’t know how Freddie Roach could have changed him [Cotto],” Sarmiento said to HBO. “They may have a strategy for the fight, but I don’t think he can change Cotto anything at this point. We couldn’t have expected anything else what happened with Rodriguez. But Sergio isn’t Rodriguez. Cotto knows he has it hard, and Freddie knows he has it harder. The advantage is ours.”

Roach must feel some serious pressure for this fight because Cotto is giving up so much in the way of size to Sergio, and it’s a bad style match-up for Cotto as well. If Cotto loses this fight it’s possible that Roach might not be around for too long. Cotto might want to look in another direction if Roach doesn’t have the magic to bring his career back around to where it was pre-Antonio Margarito and pre-Manny Pacquiao. But the thing is even in Cotto’s best years between 2004 and 2008, he was still struggling in a lot of his fights and not blowing guys away.

Cotto struggled with a past his best Shane Mosley in 2008, and had problems with Zab Judah, Oktay Urkal, Paul Malignaggi, Randall Bailey, and DeMarcus Corley. Those were all very tough fights for Cotto and not cake walks where he blew them out with ease.

Roach seems to be doing a good job of making Cotto believe that he’s changed, but he does look very much like the same fighter that he was in the past. If Cotto is able to beat the 39-year-old Sergio, you can see it more as a situation where Sergio got old rather than any real improvement in Cotto. Look at the knee braces that Sergio was wearing during last Saturday’s HBO Cotto vs. Martinez 24/7. He’s riding a stationary bike now wearing knee braces instead of doing roadwork. It looks like that’s not enough to burn all the fat on him because he’s carrying around a little fat on his midsection now.

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