Saturday, October 24, 2009
MANILA, Philippines - Freddie Roach will do anything for his fighter, and that includes throwing the opponent off.
Miguel Cotto, however, isn’t buying any of his statements.
“I have never seen a fighter win with the talking of his trainer,” Cotto, who’s just 20 days away from a fight with Manny Pacquiao, told Puerto Rican paper El Nuevo Dia yesterday.
“So, I want to tell Freddie Roach, Miguel Cotto and his team do not care. The important thing here is that I’m not going to see Freddie Roach’s face in the ring. I will be there with Manny Pacquiao,” Cotto added.
Roach is playing mind games with Cotto the way he’d played them with Pacquiao’s most recent opponents.
He did it with Juan Manuel Marquez by trading harsh words with his counterpart, Nacho Beristain, with Oscar dela Hoya through his famous “can’t-pull-the-trigger” battlecry, and with Ricky Hatton when he told Pacquiao he’d be “disappointed if the fight lasts more than three rounds.”
“I’d do anything to try and throw them off,” said Roach, who created a stir just days before the Dela Hoya fight when he started questioning the Golden Boy’s hand wraps.
This time, so close to the fight, Roach is saying Pacquiao is capable of “knocking out Cotto in the first round.”
“He can say anything, try anything to draw the attention and try to be the hero of the whole promotion. But on Nov. 14, we will see who talks in the end, the ones who did all the talking or the ones who stayed silent,” said Cotto.
The WBO welterweight champion from Puerto Rico is the silent one.
He opened camp a couple of weeks ahead of Pacquiao, and stayed in there the whole time, eating, breathing and thinking of nothing but Pacquiao. Chances of watching Cotto as he trains in the gym are slim and none.
In contrast, Pacquiao is always there to see, except for sparring days when Roach would rather close the doors. But otherwise, on the road, in the gym and inside his suite, he’s always in the company of friends, of fans.
Roach said Pacquiao is down to 156.5 lb, which is just a little over the catchweight of 150, and is now 90 percent fit and ready to fight.
Pacquiao was to spar 10 rounds yesterday at the Gerry Peñalosa Gym in Mandaluyong City, was scheduled to host dinner with close friends and team members, and at 10 p.m. should board the PAL plane to Los Angeles.
In the long flight to LA, one that may take 12 hours and a little over 7,000 miles, Roach can always think of something new to say.
Because Cotto, still, isn’t buying.