One of the subplots heading into Miguel Cotto's bout with Delvin Rodriguez this Saturday is the relationship between him and his new trainer, Freddie Roach. Roach, probably most famous for the being the head trainer for Cotto conqueror Manny Pacquiao, has a well-earned reputation as a coach who puts emphasis on offense. Some have questioned the pairing because Cotto tends to already be an offensive fighter that has holes on defense. Others have argued that Cotto is who he is by this stage, more or less, and Roach will be able to simply polish some of the rough edges around Cotto's offensive game.
In a recent interview, Roach pointed out something that he felt needed to be fixed. Cotto's bodywork, which seemed to be his main attack years ago, needs to return according to Roach. Here is what he said, via Boxing Scene:
"When you think of Miguel Cotto, you think of great bodywork. Lefts to the body, we have been working on quite a bit, and we have also been working on a lot of new moves and it's been working out really well.
"I watched the Trout fight and we talked about why he thought he lost that fight. He thought he wasn't busy enough and I want to bring back that work to the body - his bread and butter. That's what got him to where he is today. I am not going to change him, of course, because he is a great fighter as he is. We just need a reminder of the fundamentals of boxing."
Cotto's body attack is something that has appeared to gradually leave his game. When he was younger, he tore at his opponent's midsection with glee. His stoppage win over Carlos Quintana is a great example of this. But over the last few years he has gotten away from one of the things that made him so effective on his way up.
I think Roach is making a wise choice here by attempting to reinvigorate the bodywork. If Cotto is going to remain at junior middle (and he does intend to) he will need to dig into the larger men's bodies. Roach may not change Cotto much, but if he can bring back some of his old style, he may be able to recall one of boxing's best body snatchers to life.