There won't be three bigger fights this year than the Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto fight, which will, unless it goes off the rails in the ninth inning of negotiations, take place June 7 at the Madison Square Garden big room.
Many folks I talk to seem to think that Sergio Martinez, a natural at middleweight, will get the better of Cotto. Needless to say, Cotto's trainer Freddie Roach spits in their eye. He explained to me why the 2014 Miguel Cotto is a dangerous animal, and a better version of the guy we saw losing to Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout.
"He wasn't getting along with his trainer, and when you don't get along with your trainer, it's not a good situation," Roach told me. Dedham Freddie knows Cotto and trainers are like Kardashians and marriage but he says Cotto hasn't said no to anything and they get along. Cotto has been present for 5 AM runs and he expects the same for this camp, he said.
The left hook to the body, what Roach calls Cotto's best shot, returned against Delvin Rodriguez last October.
"Why'd you stop throwing that shot?" Roach said he asked the Puerto Rican.
"I don't know," Cotto confessed.
"You won't do it if you don't practice it," Roach counseled the fighter.
He said ex trainer Pedro Diaz hadn't pushed him to use it, so, Roach said he did, and will. That is his "bread and butter" which Martinez would have to respect, he stated. There was no bread, and no butter, from Cotto in the Austin Trout fight, but he's now back in form, Freddie said. "The Austin Trout fight, Miguel didn't show up for it," Freddie noted.
Delivering that left hook to the body against a lefty is harder, Freddie admitted, but he will explain the technical necessities to make sure it lands properly, he said. "It's a little more difficult against a lefty, you have to set it up better, you have to use a little decoy. I think we can beat Martinez down the middle. I had a gameplan with Chavez Jr. against Sergio. His defense is pretty poor, if you exchange with him, let your hands go with him, he's very hittable. Chavez didn't do that till the last round, you saw what happened! And, Chavez only trained five days for that fight. So, I will have a guy who comes in great shape and will listen to me and use the gameplan, and I think we're gonna have a good fight.
"I like Martinez, he's a good guy. At one point I saw him, and said hi, and he said, 'I thought you didn't like me.' It's just talk," Roach said, candidly. "I don't dislike anybody. But I think I have the better fighter."
Regarding that weight class...Roach said the catchweight will be 159 pounds. "My guy is going to come in the ring about 154, 155, that's his best fighting weight. Weight doesn't win fights, boxing ability does. Sergio is actually a small guy himself, he's always said he's a welterweight."
So there you go, readers. Freddie has laid out his case, made some good points why Cotto could get the nod in one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts of 2014. Do you agree? Disagree? Weigh in, in our Forum.
Follow Woods on Twitter.
Who Should Floyd Mayweather fight next: