Freddie Roach is in NYC with his second most famous client, Miguel Cotto, and his confidence level seemed quite high during a Wednesday press conference held at Madison Square Garden, to trumpet the Saturday Top Rank/DiBella Entertainment card in The Big Room, and on HBO PPV.
Roach told TSS that Cotto is the most focused fighter he has ever worked with, and said the boxer came to him not having much of a clue on how to be a ring general. Now, he said, he is tons better at being in command in the squared circle. A win over Martinez, he said, would leave Cotto in a superlative spot...and maybe even better what with there being some movement in the Cold War. I asked Roach if the Golden Boy soap opera could affect his boxer. "Probably, in spots," the trainer told me. He said it might now be easier to make a Cotto vs Canelo fight, if Canelo can handle the crafty Cuban Erislandy Lara next month.
As for his topmost client, Roach said he would love to see Manny get it on with Danny Garcia, a 140 pound titlist. "It would be big for everybody," he said. It feels like all fight game persons are sort of waiting for the other other shoe to drop, and waiting to see which boxers are contracted to Golden Boynand Al Haymon, or just Al Haymon, or what. Roach said he hopes the movement, which saw Richard Schaefer exiting GBP, will open some doors which had been shut.
If the choice were made today, Roach said, he thinks Manny would fight Ruslan Provodnikov next. Provo, the Siberian Rocky, gloves up June 14, at Barclays Center, and will need to get past skilled boxer Chris Algieri. If he does, what would Freddie do? Watch the scrap on tv? "I would lose Ruslan," Roach told me. The teacher and The Congressman go way back, and he would have to train Manny to get the best of the Siberian slugger.
If Roach were the sole decision maker, it would be Pacquiao vs Danny Garcia...but as we know, Bob Arum is a canny deal maker. He will meet with Juan Manuel Marquez in the next couple days, get a sense of what the Mexican feels like doing next, and seeing if he has shut the door on another Pacman clash.