By Keith Idec
More than anything other than winning Saturday night, Freddie Roach wants Miguel Cotto to revert to being one the most brutal body punchers in boxing.
Roach considers Cotto’s lack of a body attack as one of the primary reasons he lost a unanimous decision to Austin Trout in his last fight 10 months ago at Madison Square Garden. The International Boxing Hall of Fame trainer expects Cotto to heed his advice because Roach emphasized the importance of slowing down Delvin Rodriguez with body shots throughout their first training camp together at Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.
“When you think of Miguel Cotto, you think of great bodywork,” Roach said. “Lefts to the body, we have been working on quite a bit, and we have also been working on a lot of new moves and it’s been working out really well.”
Puerto Rico’s Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) thinks his lack of overall activity against Trout was very costly. The former three-division champion knows that, too, is something he must change when he faces Rodriguez (28-6-3, 16 KOs), of Danbury, Conn., in a 12-round, 154-pound main event HBO will televise from Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.
“I watched the Trout fight and we talked about why he thought he lost that fight,” Roach said. “He thought he wasn’t busy enough and I want to bring back that work to the body – his bread and butter. That’s what got him to where he is today. I am not going to change him, of course, because he is a great fighter as he is. We just need a reminder of the fundamentals of boxing.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.