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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Roach wants Cotto at 143 lb

Boxing coach Freddie Roach has told Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum that he wants a catch weight of 143 lb for the proposed Nov. 14 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto.

“I spoke with Bob and I told him I want it at 143 lb,” Roach told the Manila Bulletin Saturday. “The lower I can get him (Cotto), the better.”

Roach’s desire to force Cotto to get down to as low as 143 is a sure sign the celebrated trainer is very wary of the Puerto Rican puncher, boxing experts said.

Despite Cotto’s struggle against Joshua Clottey last week in New York, Roach said he remains a believer that Cotto is not “over the hill.”

“Cotto is still a great fighter. Very strong, and very dangerous,” said the 48-year-old Roach.

Roach said those who predict that Pacquiao would bowl over Cotto with ease “are not so bright.”

“He’s a champion,” said Roach. “No way (he’s past his prime). (Manny’s going to have a) hard, hard fight.”

Reminded that Cotto seems to be not elusive and willing to take punches to land one of his own, Roach agreed but cautioned die-hard Pacquiao fans that “he gets back as hard.”

Roach added that once Pacquiao reports for training camp two months before the fight, help will come from conditioning coach Alex Ariza and the rest of Pacquiao’s all-Filipino training team.

So, where’s Michael Moorer, the former heavyweight champion who was part of Pacquiao’s training camp for Ricky Hatton last May?

“Michael’s on leave to attend to his kids in Florida,” replied Roach.

Arum, meanwhile, has been informed of what both camps want. Pacquiao is insisting that the catch weight should be 144 lbs, but Cotto wants it at 145.

Cotto’s World Boxing Organization welterweight (147 lb) crown will be on the line in the scheduled 12-rounder being penciled for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Mike Koncz, Pacquiao’s Los Angeles-based Canadian adviser, is on his way to the US for a meeting with Arum on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Arum will make a presentation to Koncz, who would then return to the Philippines to make a presentation of his own to Pacquiao.

If everything goes well, Arum will likely have a deal this coming week, something that would make Pacquiao and Cotto happy.

Source: mb.com.ph

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