Saturday, October 10, 2009
Miguel Cotto is damaged goods.
This is the belief of Jose Luis Castillo, the former world lightweight champion from Mexico who will be one of Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partners in his Baguio training camp.
“Cotto's no longer the fighter that he once was,” said Castillo in Spanish last Saturday with the help of translator and fellow fighter Danny Escobar.
“After losing to (Antonio) Margarito, Cotto is no longer the same,” said the 35-year-old Castillo, who held the World Boxing Council 135-lb throne and once endured the punishing fists of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Margarito dealt Cotto a severe knockout loss when they fought last year although it was later found out that Margarito's wraps had been loaded with an excessive amount of plaster of Paris, making his punches more damaging.
Castillo and Escobar, an unbeaten welterweight from Riverside, California, arrived in Manila on board a Philippine Airlines flight from Los Angeles and they were immediately brought to a hotel in Manila for the time being because of the closure of the major highways leading to Baguio owing to the severe flooding in Northern Luzon the past couple of days.
Still, Castillo, now fighting at welterweight, said Cotto remains a livewire opponent and his presence in Pacquiao’s camp would help Freddie Roach and the trainers get ready for fight night.
Castillo, who is coming off four straight abbreviated wins, said he currently weighs 155 lbs and is raring to get it on with Pacquiao in the ring.
It is unsure if Roach will also tap Escobar, who has only three fights under his belt.
The arrival of Castillo should enable Roach to make a rotation among Castillo, super-welter Shawn Porter and super-lightweight Urbano Antillon, in the sparring sessions held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao sparred a total of seven rounds on Saturday -- four with Porter and three with Antillon -- as the Filipino fighter upped the number of sparring rounds to 31 rounds.
"Manny was fast and he moved as if he owned the ring," reported Pacquiao adviser Joe Ramos from the City of Pines.