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Friday, November 13, 2009

Miguel Cotto's strengths include Phil Landman

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Reporting from Las Vegas - A small, airless gym smelling of sweat and urine. An old, shuffling fighter-turned-trainer whose study of strength and nutrition stopped in junior high health class.

Think Burgess Meredith in "Rocky" or Clint Eastwood in "Million Dollar Baby."

That was Phil Landman's image of boxing gyms and the men who worked there when he was recruited out of a West Los Angeles fitness club to work with world champion Miguel Cotto three years ago. And he hasn't seen too much since then that has changed his mind.

"Boxing is just very much back as it was maybe 10, 15, 20, even 50 years ago," Landman says. "With the same training and the same techniques. And hopefully what I'm doing with Miguel so far, I've been able to kind of influence the sport in some way."

He's certainly influenced Cotto, 29, who will put Landman's methods to their most severe test Saturday when he meets six-time world champion Manny Pacquiao in a WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

"I feel more strength, more power. And I know now what things I can eat," Cotto says. "It's different. He puts more science into my training."

Landman was hired as Cotto's strength and conditioning coach in the summer of 2006 after being introduced to the Puerto Rican fighter by his promoter, Bob Arum.

"The stuff that they're doing becomes, at some point, just redundant," Landman says of old-school boxing trainers. "The body just will stop responding at some stage to some of the stuff that they just continue over and over. So I've been introducing other things."

Such as a strict diet for Cotto, a focused running program and an ever-changing series of weightlifting and flexibility exercises that, in addition to improving his strength and conditioning, also limits the time he spends in the boxing gym.

"Every time I come into camp I always change his program," says Landman, whose five-hour daily workouts with Cotto begin about two to three months before each fight. "He's never done the same conditioning work in any [two] camps. I always take bits and pieces and work on areas that I feel like maybe he needs to improve a little bit. We work well together to kind of figure out what will be the best for him."

That wasn't the case when Arum introduced Cotto, and his uncle-trainer Evangelista Cotto, to the staff at Jon Jon Park's fitness facility in West Los Angeles. The Cotto team was initially suspicious. But Arum had seen this training program work with another of his fighters, Oscar De La Hoya, and offered to pay Landman's salary if Cotto would give his methods a chance.

"Conditioning is conditioning," Arum says. "We knew they weren't boxing people. But we knew it worked."

And in Cotto's case, it worked immediately. In his first fight under Landman's tutelage, Cotto knocked out previously unbeaten Carlos Quintana in five rounds to win the WBA welterweight title. It was Cotto's quickest win in nearly two years. Landman didn't know much about boxing when he began working with Cotto.

Landman, 37, grew up in South Africa, and he played soccer and competed at an elite level in cycling, cricket, rugby and motor sports. "I've always enjoyed being involved in the different sports and trying to understand what it requires to become good at those sports," he says.

Boxing presented its own challenges, in part, because much of what passed for training had been passed down from previous generations with little change. "Boxing is one of the sports that is taking a little bit longer to progress. They are way behind. But I think they will catch up," Landman says. "I do get a lot of people wondering why I do things and how I do them. Once the questions have been answered and explained, people are interested."

Despite Cotto's record of 34-1, with 27 KOs, he is a 3-1 underdog to Pacquiao.

So an upset of Pacquiao on Saturday would certainly increase the interest in Landman's conditioning program.

And a win would perhaps put to rest rumors that Cotto was irreparably damaged in his only loss as a professional, a bloody, 11th-round TKO to Antonio Margarito 16 months ago.

Margarito was caught with illegal plaster in his hand wraps before his next fight and there are suspicions his gloves may have been loaded in the Cotto fight as well. (Margarito's co-manager said the boxer denies any wrongdoing in the Cotto fight.)

"What Miguel went through was pretty horrific," Landman said. "And I think he's done an amazing job coming out of that."

In Cotto's last fight with Joshua Clottey, in June, Landman says Cotto did "an amazing job" overcoming a third-round cut above his left eye to win a 12-round split decision. That was also Cotto's first fight under new trainer Joe Santiago, who replaced Evangelista as his trainer seven months ago.

"People should look at that a lot more," Landman says of Cotto's performance against Clottey. "He showed courage in that fight."

Cotto returned the compliment on Wednesday, crediting Landman with giving him the strength to persevere.

"Since Phil came to our camp, to our gym, he's always come with a lot of things to make me work better," Cotto said. "Like everybody saw in my last fight, he made me work better. With more energy, with more power.

"And that's the kinds of the things you're going to see the night of the [Pacquiao] fight."

Source: latimes.com


  1. Cotto is going to knock Pacman in the 7 round. Please do not look at pacman like a winner; look at him like a person making a lot a money and but his staff in a closet. What kind a person do that at your staff. If you do not believe at me look the 3rd episode of 24/7.

  2. Forget the staff, what pretty much shocked me was that this Buboy guy is the one that sleeps in that closet. Isn't he supposed to be Pacquiao's best friend and assistant trainer or something? Damm, don't buy him a suite but at least give him a decent room.

  3. when is the fight?

  4. to the first two guys to comment here it was not an issue if buboy sleeps to the closet you gossip monger. the real issue here is that i'm having goosebump reading your comments. a dose of brotherly advice mate ask your mother to send you back to school so you will learn to use proper english. and please stop giving ridiculous predictions and comparisons for i was so sure your boxer cotto will not last for 12 rounds.

  5. IN youre dreams,tomorowthe will be a new best PFP and that will be MIGUEL COTTO.the onlyone that wont last 12 rounds is Manny no EXCUSES.


  7. Hmmm... another stupid comments... Buboy can sleep wherever he wants to... and I'm really damn sure he's far more richer than those two idiots who comment here... He has a mansion given by pac... drives sports cars...

  8. The art of boxing is not the boxing
    itself, but it is in your in mind, your
    timing, how you unleash that power and that is Pacman.

  9. 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.
    "you give me 1 power punch then i trade with 3 power punches"
    then whose the winner?
    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.

    Talking about Cotto's chin:
    BEFORE the fight i predict this fight will be winning by decision. No knockdowns.
    As both sides can take strong punches and a had a thin chance of a knockdown.

    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.