By Miguel Rivera
The professional relationship between Miguel Cotto and Freddie Roach is in a dimension where words are left over when both are in the gym.
Earlier this month, the Puerto Rican pugilist reported to the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, Calif., While the coach accompanied Filipino Manny Pacquiao for his bout against Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia.
Cotto wasted no time and started training camp for his fight against Japanese contender Yoshihiro Kamegai, scheduled for August 26 at the StubHub Center in Carson. They will battle for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title.
The duo met again in California in the past and Roach has been very satisfied with the work so far.
"I think Miguel looked sharp, the combinations were fantastic and he looks good for this fight against Kamegai. I expect a great performance from Miguel," Roach said to Carlos Gonzalez.
After the cancellation of the fight with James Kirkland back in February, Cotto took a break in training to enjoy a short vacation in Puerto Rico.
"The rest helped him. We were working hard for Kirkland and the free time was good. He was able to stay in condition. I am pleased with what I have seen," Roach said.
The coach warned that his pupil can not underestimate the opponent.
"Kamagei is a little crazy in the ring. He can be effective in counters when he wants, has a solid jaw, he's durable, but I anticipate that body punches will tell the story. I hope Miguel softens him up with attacks to the body. If Miguel does it effectively, there will be no way for Kamegai to escape. I think that while Kamegei's jaw is solid, the body is a bit soft and that's where we will succeed," Roach continued.
"Miguel has boxed for many years, but he remains one of the main figures in the sport. A good win against Kamegai would help him get a big fight or a rematch against one of those who beat him in the past. I would love that, but to get it first he has to beat Kamegai."
"A lot of things happened in Australia, but that's boxing. It is not a perfect world, we all have an opinion and it is unfortunate that we lost that fight [with Pacquiao]. That's why I want Miguel to soften Kamegai up to avoid a bad decision. It's part of boxing's life and game."