Roach says he has “great plan” for Cotto to use against Canelo
By Dan Ambrose: WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach says he’s got a great plan for the soon to be 35-year-old Cotto to use for his catch-weight title defense against the younger 25-year-old Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) in their big fight on HBO pay-per-view on November 21st at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Roach isn’t saying what this great plan is but it likely has something to do with Cotto using movement, jabbing and avoidance of Canelo to try and win a 12 round decision. That’s the only thing that’s ever worked against Canelo in the past.
“We have a great plan for Miguel,” Roach said to ESPNDeportes.com. “He [Cotto] is now in condition. Really, we have a great plan and will help us greatly. I think it will be a fight very yes it is good and must be the fight of the year.”
Roach supposedly had a great plan for his No.1 fighter Manny Pacquiao last May in his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., and we saw how that fight ended up. Pacquiao was lost in the fight, and Roach had no clue what to do in between rounds. Roach looked more lost than Pacquiao.
If history is any guide, Roach will say he’s got multiple plans for Cotto to use if his plan-A doesn’t work on November 21st, but in reality, we’ll probably see Cotto go to pieces if his initial plan fails to work. Cotto only has two options in this fight. He can either try and use movement like he did in his first fight against Antonio Margarito to pot shot Canelo and stay out of his way, or he can go straight at him to try and bang him out like he did against the over-matched Delvin Rodriguez in 2013.
“The fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao was very different,” Roach said. “This time Miguel and his opponent will come to fight. I know the boxing world will enjoy it. I love this pairing. I think it’s the best.”
I think Roach isn’t serious about Cotto coming to fight. He’s not going to do that. If anything, Cotto will look to use the same blueprint that Mayweather employed in beating Canelo two years ago in 2013, when he used movement, jabs and sharp counters to dominate him. Roach would be negligent on his job if he told his old lion to go after a younger and bigger lion like Canelo to fight it out.
I don’t think for a second that the 35-year-old Cotto will go directly into the teeth of the bigger, stronger, and younger Canelo. That’s not the type of game that will work against Canelo, because he’s like a tank and he’ll enjoy fighting like that. Cotto’s only chance of winning is to try and stay on the move for as long as he can to build up an insurmountable lead in the first 8 rounds.
Cotto was able to move for 9 continuous rounds in his first fight against Margarito in 2008, but Cotto gassed out in the 10th and could no longer move. That was a much younger and leaner Cotto than now. At 35, and carrying roughly 160+ pounds of weight, I doubt that Cotto will be able to move for more than 4 rounds without tiring out.
Canelo will obviously need to work on pressuring Cotto in order to force him to run and use up energy. Canelo must cut off the ring at all times and forget all about trying to box him like he did in his fight against Mayweather in 2013. Canelo has to be focusing on slugging at all times and making the aging Cotto punch with him.
Canelo shouldn’t even think about boxing him. Canelo’s goal is to chop down an old lion that is going to be on the run from the 1st round on. The aging lion will mix it up occasionally against Canelo, but he doesn’t have the youth to stand and fight like he once did. Cotto has too much wear and tear on him to slug with Canelo for any length of time.
I don’t think the Cotto-Canelo fight will be a fight of the year candidate. No way. Cotto hasn’t had a real fight in three years since he was beaten by Austin Trout. Since then, Cotto has beaten Delvin Rodriguez, Sergio Martinez and Daniel Geale. None of those guys were the fighters that they once were when they fought Cotto. I don’t think Cotto has improved at all from the fighter that Mayweather and Austin Trout both beat in 2012.
If anything, I think Cotto has aged and isn’t even the fighter that lost to those guys. The main difference that we’ve seen with Cotto in his last three fights is he’s now being matched against old guys now, and he’s got a trainer in Roach who is putting a spin on all of his fights and performances. Roach is white washing each fight, making it seem like Cotto has been rejuvenated due to his training expertize.
The reality that I see is Cotto is being matched against non-relevant fighters that are long in the tooth, and he’s doing well against these old timers. Sergio Martinez is 40, Delvin Rodriguez is 35, and Daniel Geale is 34. Those are all old timers. Cotto isn’t fighting younger guys that would likely wear him down and take his head off like Gennady Golovkin, Tureano Johnson, Jorge Sebastian Heiland, Arif Magomedov, Michel Soro, Billy Joe Saunders, or Chris Eubank Jr.
There’s a big difference between the guys that Cotto has been facing in his last three fights and the guys that he chose not to fight. You have to wonder why Cotto didn’t fight the younger lions like the above mentioned fighters. Cotto is winning, but he’s certainly not going it against the best fighters. He’s doing it against the old and feeble guys from the past. That’s why I don’t see Cotto as being even as good as he was in 2012. It’s just a match-making trick to make Cotto look better than he actually is, and he’s got a good spin doctor in Freddie Roach to try and paint a false picture of reality to the boxing public.
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