By Jhonny Gonzalez
Freddie Roach, the trainer of Manny Pacquiao, gave his take on the scheduled junior middleweight fight between WBA champion Miguel Cotto and undefeated five-division beltholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. The battle between Cotto and Mayweather takes place on May 5th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Pacquiao had previously stopped Cotto in 2009, when they fought at a catch-weight of 145-pounds.
"Manny had one of his greatest victories against Cotto. But their styles [Pacquiao and Mayweather] are so different. Floyd sometimes averages 15 punches per round. How can you beat someone like Cotto, who is a strong puncher and throws so many punches [with only 15 punches per round]?," Roach told Jose Sanchez.
"When Cotto catches you on the ropes, that's where he does his best work. And Mayweather likes to lean against the ropes to counter. In that scenario, Cotto could succeed. As for styles, it is an interesting fight. It's a good technical boxer fighting with a counter-puncher. Mayweather is strong physically, but I think Cotto is a bit stronger. Mayweather is definitely much faster, as was Pacquiao [against Cotto]. Miguel has to be very careful about the kind of fight [he plans to initiate] against a counter-puncher like Mayweather.
Roach has the belief that Cotto's new trainer, Pedro Diaz of Cuba, will put together the perfect strategy to defeat Mayweather.
"I think his new coach will know how to fight him because he is Cuban and that is the style of almost all Cuban fighters [patient counter-punching]. With a good strategy, Cotto will do very good job," Roach said.