Wednesday, September 23, 2009
MIGUEL COTTO could climb the ring a couple of pounds over the agreed limit and still not have a chance against Manny Pacquiao, according to trainer Freddie Roach.
There are talks about the Puerto Rican welterweight possibly encountering trouble making the catch weight of 145 lb for the November 14 bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but Roach believes he has the world’s best fighter and there would be no problem come fight night.
“I’m prepared for that possibility,” Roach said. “But that’s no problem. I’m not worried.”
“One or two pounds heavier, we are not worried. We have the best fighter here,” he said.
Talks arose anew over the weekend when the comebacking Floyd Mayweather Jr. weighed two pounds over the agreed 144-lb limit and went on to clobber a much lighter Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico also at the MGM Grand.
But although Cotto may look much heavier—he is around an inch shorter than Mayweather—he has been able to trim down for his previous fights, weighing 146 in his fight earlier this year against Michael Jennings, who came in at 147.
Cotto has been fighting as a welterweight for three years. The Puerto Rican last fought under 147, when he took on Paul Malignaggi in a World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-weltwerweight title bout in 2006. He won the World Boxing Association welterweight crown after that and went on to claim the WBO belt.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, is only at 151 lb a week into his eight-week training program. He fought at 130 against Marquez just two years ago before recently moving up to fight heavier foes in Mexican-American light-weltwerweight David Diaz, American superstar Oscar de la Hoya and British brawler Ricky Hatton.
Roach arrived from the United States on Tuesday and immediately checked out the training facilities at Stand Up Boxing Gym in Cooyeesan Mall in Baguio City.
The American hadn’t even unpacked his things when he started training with the flamboyant southpaw from General Santos City.
Pacquiao is looking to train for around eight weeks and Roach said he will be satisfied with a five-and-a-half-week program in Baguio before the camp moves to the US.
“It’s a world class gym here,” said Roach, who had Mexico as first pick for Pacquiao’s training.
Roach said that the only problem for Pacquiao training in Baguio is jet lag and the altitude.
“There is the altitude to play with. Training in LA is at sea level (like Las Vegas) but here it is 5,000 feet above sea level,” he said.
Roach also criticized the recent performance of Mayweather, who many consider to be the best option for Pacquiao’s next fight.
“It’s (Mayweather-Marquez) a boring match. It did not get me out of my seat which is what boxing should be,” Roach said.
“Mayweather is not exciting for me. He did not get the job done as expected.” (With Mau Victa)