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Friday, November 13, 2009

Cotto's biggest disadvantage may reside in his corner

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In boxing, a fighter's relationship with his trainer, is either his biggest asset or greatest liability. The bond between the two can't be measured, but its effects can certainly be seen.

Juan Manuel Marquez developed into a three-division champion under a lifetime of guidance from Nacho Beristain. Wladimir Klitschko only emerged as boxing's top heavyweight after Emanuel Steward took over in his corner. And Manny Pacquiao, who has, perhaps, the most successful fighter-trainer relationship, has worked his way to the top of boxing's pound-for-pound rankings after eight years with Freddie Roach. Together, they've forged a bond that Steward says is "unlike any I have ever seen."
Miguel Cotto doesn't have that luxury, or anything remotely close to it. When Cotto steps into the ring to defend his WBO welterweight title against Pacquiao next month, the man dispensing the advice will be Joe Santiago, a longtime member of Cotto's team who will be making his second appearance as lead trainer. The Cotto-Santiago merger was a marriage of necessity: Last April, Cotto and his uncle, Evangelista, who had trained Cotto for the last 18 years, reportedly came to blows after Cotto fired him for refusing to move the training camp from Caguas, Puerto Rico, to Tampa Bay. The fight continued at Cotto's home, when Evangelista allegedly threw a brick at Cotto, which smashed through the window of champion's 2009 Jaguar.

"The trainers could be a factor," said Steward. "Going down the stretch in these types of fights, [the corner] could swing it. Having your longtime trainer there is definitely an advantage."

Trainer-less for the first time in his career, Cotto asked his promoter, Bob Arum, for a list of potential replacements. After reviewing the list, Cotto elected to go with Santiago, a longtime protégé of Evangelista who has played a variety of roles in his training over the past seven years.

"I think Miguel feels comfortable with Joe," said Arum. "You have to understand [my] position. As the promoters, we're not responsible for the fighter getting into shape. That's up to the fighter and his team. We went along with whatever they decided ... whether Santiago is the right trainer for him is hard to tell."

The uncertainty surrounding the choice stems from Santiago's shaky performance in Cotto's fight against Joshua Clottey last June. In the third round, an accidental head butt opened up a grotesque cut on Cotto's left eyelid. A more seasoned trainer might have lobbied for the fight to be stopped. But Santiago allowed the fight to continue and watched helplessly as a blinded Cotto absorbed a beating from Clottey. Only a late rally saved Cotto from an embarrassing and costly defeat.

"I think [dealing with the cut] was a very dicey moment," said Arum. "Miguel was winning the fight quite handily and the eye was severely cut. I don't think Joe made any mistakes. I don't know if any trainer would have handled it different."

Added Santiago, "There were really no mistakes about the way we wanted to do the fight. I think the strategy was fine. I have known [Cotto] for seven years and I know they had talked about bringing in well-known trainers, but I think the fact that I have known him a long time and he feels comfortable with me gave me an advantage over all those guys. I think it's just a question of getting everybody on the same page and I think we've done that."

Those that argue that the change in trainers won't impact Cotto when he faces Pacquiao point to the estranged relationship between the fighter and his uncle. The problems between the two date back to 2007, when Cotto confronted Evangelista after he berated Cotto's brother, Jose, during Jose's world title fight against Prawet Singwancha. The confrontation was caught by the Telefutura cameras.

Because their relationship has been so bad for so long, the argument goes, Cotto has effectively been training himself.

"Cotto and his uncle were like a married couple that just grew apart," Steward told SI.com. "You could feel the distance between them. They went years barely speaking. And Cotto makes great adjustments on his own. When he fought Muhammad Abdullaev [in 2005], I was amazed at how he got on his toes and boxed beautifully. And against Zab Judah [in 2007], he got very physical. He's just an adaptable and adjustable guy."
Still, both Arum and Steward agree that in a fight that is predicted to be as closely contested as Cotto-Pacquiao, having an experienced and familiar voice in your corner is a tremendous advantage.

"Chemistry between the trainer and fighter is very important," said Arum. "Manny and Freddie are a finely tuned team. That doesn't mean that Joe can't do a good job for Miguel, but in the nitty gritty, I'd like to have Freddie."

Source: sportsillustrated.cnn.com


  1. Everybody is talking about the corner of Cotto. Santiago has been with Cotto for 7 years. He knows Cotto very well. Also he has a master degree in Physical Training. Roach does not have nothing like that. He talk because thats the only degree he has. Be a large mouth person. Bye bye Pacman

  2. Aftermath, Santiago will get fired too, boy! There is nothing left there to go on with but to retaire....But if Cotto descide to go on boxing, he'll have to start with scratch all over again.

  3. lolz...try being in the hall of fame first before you talk trash... clearly another stupid fan... As for Joe... To me he's a yes-guy... Cotto is the one deciding not him... and that's not good... better have someone who can really discipline you...

  4. so its you again Jacob sepulveda!!

    haven't i reminded you to take your psychiatric meds?

    see??????? your being delusional again!!!!!!!

    and you even posted your real name!!!!!!!! you should get out of town after this fight!!!!!!!!!!! YOU DONT DESERVE WHAT THE WORLD OFFER TO YOU TODAY!!!!!

  5. bye bye Kuto...oooppppsss Cotto..

  6. Its ben a long while since Elorde,when a manlike Manny Paquiao emerge as a Filipino torch bearer...of hope...I wish you all luck brother....

    For Cotto??? Is there any famous namein Puerto Rican Boxing history??? Maybe...but they are all history!!!! hahahaha!!

  7. Easy fight for Pacman. He can connect at Cotto at will the WHOLE round and even can take Cotto's punches.

    Talking w/ Cotto's punching speed:
    Cotto is too SLOOOW for Pacman. I expected that Cotto will be slow
    but when i watch the fight. Cotto is much MORE SLOW than i expected.
    Cotto's had come against speedy opponents before and beat them.
    But Pacman is different.
    Pacman has the speed and ACCURACY w/ his punches. not just punches but LOTS of punches.
    If Pacman had the speed and accuracy then he can deliver effectively his firepower.
    Or trade punches.
    As everyone says,
    Cotto throws his knockout punch this Sunday
    This punch will expected to land on Tuesday.
    That too slow!
    Coz compare to Pacman, he throws his knockout punch today and it will expected to land on the same day.
    One point in a fight about mid and late rounds Pacman urges Cotto to trade punches.
    Like "Common bring it on" Common lets trade punches!
    as Cotto start moving away from Pacman around the ring. (back bicycle)
    I can read Cotto's face saying:
    No NO NO, Im losing the trade of punches! I can't take it any more! I need to survive till 12 rounds"

    Talking w/ Cotto's power:
    I notice Pacman at one point of a time just dare to take punches from Cotto,
    Pacman is not insane!
    because he knows that he can take those or trade to Cotto's punches.

    DURING the fight I never Expect this and i hate to say, but Cotto's has been knocked down by Manny!
    A legitimate knockdown (not a slip!) that make Cotto's hit his gloves in the canvass.
    Where's the durable chin now?

    During Cotto's knockdown:
    I can see at Cotto's face saying,
    "this is not a joke! He's got the EFFECTIVE combination and SPEEED to deliver his firepower,
    Manny is too slippery for me. I CAN't hit him with better shots. How can i deliver my own firepower?"
    The last question is the Big question fo Cotto!

    Talking w/ Cotto's jabs:
    I found Cotto's jabs more strong, efficient and stingy. but it's not that effective against a moving
    target like Pacman. It would hit Manny, and yes it stunned Pacman, several times during the fight.
    but jabs cannot knockdown a boxer like Pacman. Be REAL!
    Cotto's needs not just jabs and combinations to deliver his power
    but jab and GOOD EFFECTIVE combination.
    This is a trainers job..

    Cotto's Trainer:
    Manny has a good trainer than Cotto.
    Roach has more experience in teaching Manny what is the most EFFECTIVE combination.
    Like selecting the right weapon in the fight. Cotto's trainer doesnt have.
    Somebody still dont know that boxing is also a mind game and teamwork.
    Chances of winning starts at the training camp and finishes in the ring! its a team effort.

    Manny training camp has the right people to unleash his strenght against his opponents.
    Cotto had two trainers. you may 2, 5, 10 trainers. but are they the right ones?
    Experience had serve at it's BEST!

    PACMAN has:
    SPEED - Before The fight Cotto still underestimate this advantages of Pacman.
    Cotto believes that he beat speedy opponents before.

    But he forget to consider that together with speed theres something else after the word:



    SPEED w/ ADJUSTMENT (type of opponent)


    and it KILLS!
    you may had the firepower but sluggishnes and imprecise where to hit your target is not effective boxing.
    you can take and TOLERATE those accurate and power punches
    You can stand on power punches.
    you have a durable chin for power punches.
    but this is not the way of winning a round in boxing.
    Others may say that its also effective in tiring your opponents.
    BUT PACMAN is a 12 rounder boxer!
    its more recognizable in his past fights that he can go 12 rounds.
    Pacman can sustain that speed, power and accuracy until you had enough of it.