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Roach: Canelo is like basic robot

Canelo Alvarez Freddie Roach Miguel CottoBy Dan Ambrose: Miguel Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach isn’t at all worried about tonight’s fight against Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) on HBO PPV. Roach has studied Canelo’s fights endlessly for the past two months, and he’s seen enough to know that the 25-year-old Canelo has a very basic fighting style that he sees Cotto having no problems dealing with tonight at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Roach thinks Canelo’s defensive skills are horrible, and he sees him as a very robotic fighter who lacks the fluidity that you like to see in athletes.

Roach sees Canelo as a very rigid and robotic fighter who fights by the number system.

“I watched a lot of tape on him. He’s [Canelo] a good puncher with a very good right hand but he does the same thing over and over, very basic,” Roach said to ESPN.com. “I’m not his biggest fan. His defense is terrible. He follows you wherever you go. He’s like a robot. If you use angles on him he’ll be lost. He has very bad timing.”

You can make a strong argument that one of the reasons why Canelo has done so well up to this point in his career is because he’s generally had the weight and power advantage against the guys that he’s been fighting. With Canelo’s ability to drain down huge amounts of weight to make weight at junior middleweight and now in his own weight class of 155, he can fight lighter guys than himself and dominate them on size alone.


Until Canelo finally moved out of the welterweight division in 2010, he had been able to melt down huge amounts of weight to fight at 147 and hold a weight advantage over those opponents too. But from 2010 to 2013, Canelo melted down to fight at 154. From 2014 to 2015, Canelo has been fighting at middleweight at a catch-weight of 155 pounds.

It’s still middleweight, but Canelo has staked out the catch-weight of 155lbs and has been able to get his last three opponents Alfredo Angulo, Erislandy Lara and James Kirkland to agree to fight him at this weight. With his fight against Cotto tonight, Canelo will be fighting for the fourth straight time at 155.

Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso says that they will continue to fight at 155 after tonight’s fight. What’s unclear is whether Canelo will eventually create a new catch-weight of 156 if/when he starts having problems making the 155lb catch-weight. It would be very interesting if Canelo slowly increases the catch-weight over time to move to 156, 157, 158 and 159 before he eventually fights at the full weight of the middleweight division at 160.

“For Latinos all over the world, this is our Super Bowl,” said De La Hoya to ESPN.com. “This is an event that not one Hispanic, not one Latino is going to miss. That is how important this event is to us. Puerto Rico versus Mexico is like no other event for those countries. This is like our Super Bowl, that’s how important this event is.”

Let’s hope for De La Hoya’s sake that tonight’s Cotto-Canelo fight is a success on HBO PPV, because if it fails to bring in the huge PPV numbers that De La Hoya thinks it will be, he could be very disappointed. To show you how confident De La Hoya is in tonight’s fight bringing in big PPV numbers, he’s already talking about a rematch between the two fighters. There’s mutual rematch language in the contract with Cotto and Canelo, and that means that Gennady Golovkin, the WBC interim middleweight champion, likely won’t get a crack at the winner of the fight.


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