Roach and Cotto make a great team-A A +A
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
LAST Sunday, Miguel Cotto announced the resurrection of his sagging career with a booming left hook that ended Delvin Rodriguez’s hopes of a potential upset.
Not only that, Cotto has apparently recovered his brutish, feral ways as he pressed the action and surgically broke down Rodriguez in 3 rounds.
Gone was the passivity and the tentative shuffle of an unsure fighter. This time around, Cotto came armed with a definite game-plan, and he went after his prey like a famished beast.
From the start he peppered Rodriguez with body shots and dictated the tempo of the fight.
We predicted a TKO victory in the 10th round, but Cotto probably had somewhere else to go after the fight and he made sure he kept that appointment by ending matters early.
FREDDIE ROACH. Based on his body of work, Roach seems to work well with punchers, with Manny Pacquiao of course being a living testament to that proficiency.
When Roach got Pacquiao, the latter was a whirling dervish who punched in volumes and in bunches but sometimes wildly and off target.
Roach honed Manny into a dreaded offensive machine, a fighter with impeccable timing and accuracy whose arsenal for destruction appeared unmatched during his peak.
Early in his career, Cotto was a brutal puncher who walked through the likes of Ricardo Torres and Kelso Pinto, fighters who were also known for their prodigious punching prowess.
When he faced off with the top tier fighters, he took it to another level by out-boxing the likes of Zab Judah and Shane Mosely.
That hybrid brawler-boxer style often had opponents guessing (he would also switch to southpaw at times) but through the years, it took away from his most effective weapon- that unyielding body attack.
Roach had vowed to bring that back and he did with wondrous results.
PROGNOSIS. While I was elated that Cotto got his groove back, I’m not as confident that he can reverse the outcome if he were to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. again.
The “styles make fights” aphorism will hold true once again in a rematch. Rodriguez had the style to be perfect fodder for a refurbished and re-dedicated Cotto, but “Money” Mayweather right now is just sui generis.
Ditto with Pacquiao. Depending of course on Manny’s performance against Brandon Rios in November, assuming he hasn’t lost much—the Pacman’s speed will still be too much for Cotto.
Plus, Roach has opined that Manny won’t fight Cotto again now that they have become friends.
Another rumored opponent, Sergio Gabriel Martinez, who is increasingly looking more spent and vulnerable with each fight, would be a more realistic target in a compelling battle for the middleweight belt.
Now, that’s a toss-up.
REVISITING PACQUIAO-BARRERA 2. Around this time six years ago, Manny Pacquiao and Roach faced up with Marco Antonio Barrera and his team for a rematch.
To recall, in their first bout Pacquiao had eviscerated Barrera and shocked the boxing world in a stunning upset that would herald his unprecedented rise to the apex of the sport.
This time around, Barrera fought cautiously and abandoned the brawling style that got him knocked out in 11 rounds.
It proved to be an exercise in futility. Though there were no knockdowns, Pacquiao pressed the action and dominated the entire fight. Two judges had it 118-109 while Judge Tom Schreck turned in a head-scratching 115-112.
LAST ROUND. It’s on Ric Sunico who breezed through town and is now reading this column all the way from Singapore. Cheers!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 09, 2013.