Manny Pacquiao has been busting up his sparring partners, including Jose Luis Castillo. Trainer Freddie Roach is predicting a knockout win against Miguel Cotto. (Photo via gmanews.tv)
Leave it to Freddie Roach to go from "This is the toughest fight of Manny Pacquiao's career, and anyone who underestimates Miguel Cotto is an idiot" to "Manny might knock him out in one round" in the course of about a month. Ronnie Nathanielsz reports that the famed trainer is getting more confident by the day in Pacquiao's training camp:
"I think we have a shot at a knockout in round one. One thing for sure we’ll knock him out. This guy can’t hold up the way Manny punches. One thing about Cotto he is a tough guy and all that but tough guys don’t win fights, they get hit. And when he gets hit with power like that he’s gonna go."
He also has praised Pacquiao's sparring partners, a star-studded cast that includes Shawn Porter, Urbano Antillon, and Jose Luis Castillo. And they're praising him, too. From Porter:
"His speed and his quickness is his upperhand and I think he’ll catch off-balance a lot and I think he’s going to be very hard to hit. He is the angle man. He knows how to work those angles and get in and get out and you’ll definitely see that in the fight."
Roach has been trying to be nice about Castillo, but it seems like he's just trying. Recall that when Castillo -- who was brought in by Michael Koncz, not by Freddie -- was first said to be coming in, Freddie said he was "shot" and that he "couldn't use him." Pacquiao bloodied Castillo, reportedly, and Freddie's putting his best spin on the whole situation:
"Castillo looked to be off a little bit and he’s never sparred as fast as anyone like Manny. But I like his movement because he moves similar to Cotto. Overall, it was a great work out and I was very happy."
One thing you can't argue: Pacquiao is getting world class training, while Miguel Cotto has worked with Kenny Abril (9-3-1, 5 KO), 36-year old Fred Tukes (7-1-1, 5 KO), and Frankie Figueora, who was sent home after just a week. The reason for Figueroa's boot from camp was unclear, and Team Cotto has used him in the past. Granted it's hard to find anyone that can emulate Pacquiao's style, but Figueroa is the most experienced guy Cotto had in camp. You'd think they'd want to have better than Abril and Tukes, no offense to either of those men.