by David P. Greisman
Miguel Cotto has been working with Top Rank for almost his entire career, beginning with his earliest days as a professional prizefighter in 2001 and continuing through this past Saturday’s win over Sergio Martinez — with only a very brief period in which Cotto, a free agent, was in a pair of main events in 2012 put together by Golden Boy Promotions.
Top Rank’s Todd duBoef believes that Cotto’s success against Martinez is a reflection of Cotto’s state, both physically and mentally.
“He is mentally in a place he’s never been that I’ve ever seen him at,” duBoef said at the post-fight press conference. “I think he’s had a lot of internal issues. He had issues when his father and his uncle, when he was at odds with them. I think the training is one thing, that what Freddie [Roach] was able to do was clear out the lack of communication he had in the corner.
“I have never seen anyone, when they ask you how they’re doing, and they just look at you and say ‘incredible.’ Miguel said to me the key, the real key to the difference between Freddie and what he’d been doing was the work outside the ring — that he was thinking that he had to lose weight, he had to run and run and run, and he would run and run and run to lose weight. He was ripping apart all of the strength in his legs. And the fights that he had difficulty in was when he would fade down the stretch, and he didn’t have it in his legs. They do very little running. A lot of stationary bike. He’s there at 5 a.m. doing it. That probably is one of the single different elements of his training.
“This kid has had the incredible ability. We’ve all known it. I just think for a large part of his career, he came into the ring handicapped — either that he didn’t have the right team behind him, or he wasn’t mentally in the right place.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]