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Roach: Cotto will try and box Canelo

roach111By Dan Ambrose: Trainer Freddie Roach says he’s going to have his fighter Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) emphasize his boxing skills in his title defense 19 days from now against Mexico’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) on 11/21.

Roach understands full well that if Cotto chooses to slug with Canelo, he’d be playing into the 25-year-old fighter’s game plan by doing that. Canelo is younger, taller, and heavier than Cotto by 15 pounds. It would be an insane move for Cotto to elect to brawl with Cotto in this fight because he doesn’t have the size to do that.

It would be like asking Cotto to brawl with someone 15 pounds heavier than himself like IBF/WBO/WBA light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. That’s the difference in size between Cotto and Cotto. Canelo is like someone two divisions heavier Cotto, because Canelo is obviously a true middleweight and Cotto is a fighter who could easily be still fighting at welterweight instead of junior middleweight or middleweight.

Cotto only rehydrates up to close to 160. You get a lot of welterweights that rehydrate to 160 like Keith Thurman, Kell Brook, Tim Bradley, Brandon Rios and Shawn Porter. Cotto is roughly the same size as those guys after he rehydrates for his middleweight contests.

“In this particular fight [Cotto vs. Canelo] the game plan is to try and box, so I hope he’ll be happy with that,” Roach said to It might end up in a brawl. There’s things you can’t control, and this might be one of them. If a war starts, we brought in a couple of guys with heavy punches for sparring partners just in case that happens,” Roach said.

Cotto has to box with Canelo in this fight because he’s not going to be able to move the 175lb fighter if he stands in the picket and tries to slug with him. Cotto might do well at times when he punches with Canelo, but if he tries to do this for a long period of time, then he’s going to feel the weight of Canelo’s punches and his huge light heavyweight frame and it’ll wear him down.

Cotto will do much better to move around on the outside, jab, and make the slower Canelo have to follow him around with his slow feet. Canelo is like a tank. He’s huge but he only has short legs. Being heavy helps Canelo when he’s fighting guys that are stationary and invite him in for exchanges. But against fighters that move around and jab constantly, Canelo is very limited and unable to handle that kind of fighting.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr., Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara all exposed Cotto with their movement and jabbing. They essentially created the blueprint in how to beat the red-haired slugger, and there hasn’t been any improvement in Canelo in his fights since them. Canelo says he’s learned from his fight with Mayweather, but when you look at his three fights since then against Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland and Erislandy Lara, it’s clear that he hasn’t.

Canelo is the same fighter that Mayweather exposed. The only thing that’s different is Canelo seems to be even heavier now than he was back then in 2013 when Mayweather fought him.

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