By Ben Jacobs
It was revealed recently that respected Cuban trainer Pedro Díaz is no longer working with WBA/WBO super bantamweight champion, Guillermo Rigondeaux. BoxingScene had the opportunity to catch up with the affable Miami-based coach who touched on the split with Rigondeaux as well as his former pupil Miguel Cotto’s victory last Saturday, among other topics.
BoxingScene.com: What did you think of last weekend’s fight between Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martínez? Is Martínez on the slide or was Cotto simply superior?
I don’t think there’s a decline in Martínez on the competitive side. But what undoubtedly is true is that all the injuries he has had recently, it seems that is negatively affecting his performance in the ring. He couldn’t finish the fight due to injury as well.
BoxingScene.com: There is talk of a possible rematch between Cotto and Mayweather. You trained Cotto for the first fight in which he had some success. Could he win a rematch?
Cotto is a great boxer, he’s now in very good hands with Freddie Roach and their team. They could fight an even better fight in a rematch with Mayweather than the first fight. Freddie Roach is a great trainer who has worked with a lot of champions and has extraordinary experience. I do think Cotto with Freddie Roach could do even better than the first time around.
BoxingScene.com: Which boxers are you currently working with?
At the moment I’m not working with any boxers, just MMA fighter Vitor Belfort. In fact, I’ve been dedicating most of my time to write two books that are called ‘Entrenar para Ganar’ (Train to Win), both on boxing and MMA. One is dedicated to the physical side of things and the other about technique and tactics. I’ve just finished writing those books and they will come out in both Spanish and English.
BoxingScene.com: How do you see the fight between your fellow Cuban, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Terrence Crawford playing out?
It’s a fight in which two great boxers will square off. For me, Crawford is one of the best promises in world boxing right now. He is very skilful and competitive, with some great technique and Gamboa has a lot of quality as well, they both have similar records in terms of wins and knockouts. It’s a fight where a lot will depend on their preparation and the tactics employed in the ring. That will be fundamental as to who wins.
BoxingScene.com: Could you talk about why are you no longer working with Guillermo Rigondeaux?
It’s normal. Rigondeaux has had a lot of excellent trainers. He’s been with Freddie Roach, Ismael Salas, who is a great trainer and has shown that in the professional ranks, he had Roger Mayweather, Ronnie Shields and Jorge Rubio. But Rigo’s team decided to look for another trainer and this is normal in professional boxing. That gave me time to dedicate myself to my books. He can do a great job working with Rubio as he did before.
BoxingScene.com: Do you have any plans to work with boxers in the near future?
I’m doing some work here in Miami this week with Lucian Bute but I believe he’s also going to train with Freddie Roach and Robert García. So we’ll see what happens and what he decides to do.