Freddie Roach Lays Out Cotto Blueprint
Manny Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach has never been shy when it comes to interviews. As the days wind down to the anticipated showdown between his fighter and welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto, Roach laid out some interesting quotes on how he sees the fight going down.
“I’m very confident in my guy. With the power he’s bringing up in weight I feel he’ll knock Cotto out,” Roach explained in a conference call earlier this week. “We got two more big sparring days and then we’ll start tapering off.”
On Cotto’s last fight against Joshua Clottey, Roach argued that Miguel was ready to quit in the 9th, and that his defensive lapses will be his undoing against Pacquiao’s speed.
“He makes adjustments when he fights southpaws. He’ll have trouble with the speed,” he explained. “I think he’ll try to be a counterpuncher and not come at us. Manny’s punching so much harder than he’s ever had. Cotto doesn’t have great defense, he’s very hittable. He looked better in the Clottey fight but he did try and quit in the 9th round…we’re going to start quick.”
To some critics, Pacquiao has become overrated for his win over a weakened welterweight version of Oscar De La Hoya, and a Ricky Hatton people are now calling shot.
Roach quickly dismissed these comments as simply Monday morning quarterbacking.
“Manny would beat Oscar on his best day. Hatton was supposed to be stronger, too” Roach pointed out. “Skill wins fights and Manny is the better boxer. If we stay off the ropes, it’ll be to our benefit. We’ve got to take his confidence away right away”
Of course, Manny Pacquiao was his usual modest self on the call, and declined to co-sign his trainer’s prediction of a knockout.
“Cotto is a bigger guy, hard puncher, and strong,” Pacquiao said. “For me, I focus on the fight. If the knockout comes, it comes. I always believe in my power.”
November 14 can’t get here quick enough.
Berto Furious with Mosley, Lays Down Challenge
For the last year, there have been rumors that Andre Berto would eventually face Shane Mosley in a classic “passing the torch” style contest. Throughout it all, both guys have remained very respectful to each other. That was, until this week.
Earlier this week, Shane Mosley conducted an interview where he proclaimed that he’d ruin Berto’s career, should the young welterweight decide to step in the ring with him in January.
Berto, a Twitter regular, was incensed and uncharacteristically went after Shane on personal levels regarding his divorce and steroids controversy.
“I want him to say all that smack to me. I showed him only respect now he’s getting real slick out the mouth. He grew a pair of balls overnight,” Berto tweeted. “Is Shane Mosley that desperate talking all this crazy s### not knowing he’s making himself look like a dumb ass like he did with Floyd? Boy I will shred yo’ ass up. You popping smack at the wrong one I’m not Floyd. His old lady had the pants in the relationship now she’s gone so he’s starting to speak up like a big boy ha ha, I see you. You know what I don’t even think I want to fight Shane Mosley you know he’s known for taking them steroids. Probably got some in his pocket now.”
So far, Mosley has not responded to Berto’s tweet rampage. But nonetheless, we have a fight on our hands.
You can’t blame Berto for his passion, considering how flippant Mosley was in his dismissal of him. Still, Andre cannot go into the ring angry against the fighter of Mosley’s caliber. A brawl plays right into his hands and gets Berto knocked out.
Most experts and fans favor Mosley in this matchup based on Berto’s alleged chin issues (Collazo, Rivera). However, by January Mosley will have been out of the ring for a full year. And Berto does is quick, and won’t be a more elusive target than the last two powerful but defense deficient opponents (Mayorga, Mosley).
Berto’s a live underdog, but I have to lean towards Mosley on experience. Your thoughts?
Margarito Calls Out Cotto, Gets Rebuffed
Disgraced former welterweight champ Antonio Margarito is hoping to make his boxing return with a rematch of his signature fight against Miguel Cotto.
In a recent public statement, Margarito challenged Cotto to a return bout early next year if the Puerto Rican gets past Manny Pacquiao.
“I’d give Cotto a rematch. I think that fight will be good,” Margarito told ESPN. The only loss he has is to me, and if he wants to remove that thorn from his side, then I will give him a second defeat.”
From Puerto Rico, Miguel Cotto immediately shot down the challenge and made it clear whether he thought Margarito cheated against him last July.
“I don’t care about anything Margarito has to say,” Cotto stated to the Associated Press. “He lost all of his credibility, benefits and consideration in boxing. When it comes to Miguel Cotto, he will not earn another penny.”
Margarito is currently serving a one year suspension after officials discovered plaster-like residue in his hand-wrappings before his January title match with Shane Mosley. Mosley subsequently dominated Margarito and knocked him out.
Does Antonio Margarito deserve a second chance? While there’s no evidence that he cheated in previous fights, it’s hard to imagine he would pick the Mosley fight to be the first time to pull that stunt. Additionally, you can’t ignore how quickly Cotto’s face was bludgeoned in the later rounds. And who can forget Sebastian Lujan having his ear ripped open?
I propose as a condition of his reinstatement, his first fight must be an immediate rematch with Mosley.
Mythical Matchup of the Week: “Iron” Mike Tyson vs. George Foreman (Prime)
As a young fighter, Mike Tyson’s mentor C## D’Amato used to show him films of all the previous champs. The legendary trainer would break down their styles, offering Mike detailed analysis of their strengths and weaknesses.
When they got to George Foreman, C## is reputed to have told him that no swarmer, ie.come forward aggressive fighter (Dempsey, Marciano, Frazier) ever beats Foreman. He was too strong, and would push them into range of his deadly uppercuts, as seen in his two round blitz of a previously undefeated Joe Frazier in 1973.
Trying to box Foreman wasn’t easy, either. The former champion possessed a hard jab, and could cut off the ring quickly and trap opponents on the ropes. Ken Norton fell victim to this and suffered a brutal KO in just two rounds. Ali was forced to adopt the rope a dope when Foreman was able to easily trap him on the ropes despite Muhammad’s excellent footwork.
And when he was landed on, George Foreman held a sturdy chin that served him later in the 90s, when as an old man the young fighters were wary of mixing it up with him on the inside. Add this up with his punching power, and it’s easy to see why pundits expected Foreman to reign for a long time.
Mike Tyson, contrary to popular belief, did not excel at in-fighting. He retained a bad habit throughout his career of stopping his offense anytime he was clinched. This was unlike his idol Jack Dempsey and others like Joe Frazier, who would punish opponents in clinches: whether through legal punches or foul shots to the kidney, hips, or groin.
Tyson’s lethal game was at mid-range. From there he could rip off hard combinations. His great head movement and weaving kept him from absorbing punishment, and kept him in position to crash home counters on his usually larger opponents.
Against Foreman, this would be crucial. Tyson would not want to get too close, as Foreman would simply push him back by his shoulders and smash him with uppercuts and hooks. At mid-range, Tyson would have opportunities to counter the slower Foreman. Although Foreman shook off several Frazier left hooks in their two bouts, Big George would have never faced someone like Tyson, who was blessed with dynamite and speed in both hands.
With all that said, there’s one other Tyson flaw that I feel would sink him against Foreman, and that is Iron Mike’s inability to fight going backwards. His offense is 100% forward, and when any fighter has forced him in the other direction he loses most of the leverage on his punches. George Foreman is likely the strongest heavyweight champion physically, edging others like Jim Jeffries and Jack Johnson. At many points during the fight, he will move Tyson backwards. It will be bullying, but not involve all the grappling that Holyfield did against Mike in 1996. It will be shoving coupled with hard punches. And on the backfoot Tyson doesn’t have the capabilities to make Foreman pay like Ali and even Jimmy Young did.
This is a shootout and a great fight to debate. To add more allure to this matchup, rumors persist that Tyson refused to fight Foreman in 1990 mostly due to what C## D’Amato had instilled in him about Foreman’s abilities.
So who are you going with, Tyson or Foreman?