Freddie Roach: Miguel Cotto needs more drive, more hunger

Freddie Roach will start training Miguel Cotto on August 1 at the Wild Card gym, and says he's looking to bring out the best in the Puerto Rican star for his final three fights.

Marcos Villegas, Fight Hub TV: "Zou Shiming is preparing for another fight, another camp with him. What did you not like in his last fight, and what are you working on with him to improve?"

Freddie Roach: "His last fight he was getting up a little bit on his toes a little too high, and not really sitting down on his punches and using his power, that he does have. It made for a little bit of a boring fight, but it was his first pro fight. He was a little bit excited. A lot of things come along with a first pro fight, of course. That's past him now. He's doing very well in sparring and boxing. We had a great day on the mitts. He's coming along very well with his footwork. What I did, he used to go right-handed and southpaw and switch quite a bit, but when he switched, he was getting caught in the middle too much, getting too square. So I completely took the southpaw stance away from him. I told him, we're gonna perfect the right-hand stance. When we perfect that, we'll worry about going southpaw. Doing that, he's been much more consistent, punching better off the right foot, not ending up on his heels and off-balance. It's really helped him quite a bit."

Marcos Villegas, Fight Hub TV: "I know a lot of people have commented as well, he had his hands down a lot in the fight. I'm sure you've addressed that as well."

Freddie Roach: "Yes, of course. I told him -- I teach my fighters sometimes to put their hands down in certain positions, when you're looking for a counter punch, when you want the guy to lead with something. Overall, though, you want the hands up. It's better defense. I think sometimes if I'd kept my hands up, I might've been a better fighter."

Marcos Villegas, Fight Hub TV: "Miguel Cotto seems to be moving over here to train with you. Were you surprised that he reached out to you, and were you at all hesitant to bring him on seeing as you have so many fighters here at the Wild Card?"

Freddie Roach: "I didn't think Miguel liked me too much, because we almost got in a fight at the weigh-in with Pacquiao."

Marcos Villegas, Fight Hub TV: "How did that happen?"

Freddie Roach: "Well, his coach (Joe Santiago) yelled, he made weight. I said, yeah, you have a contract, you're supposed to make weight, asshole. So (Miguel) stepped in to defend his guy, and he was staring at me with those black eyes, and I stared back, and I thought for a second something might happen, but... the thing is, there's a lot of tension when fighters are gonna fight, the weigh-in, nothing personal."

Marcos Villegas, Fight Hub TV: "So you were a bit hesitant?"

Freddie Roach: "No, not hesitant at all. He called me himself, and said, hey, I have about three fights left, I want you to help me with those three fights. I said, I think I can do that. You're a talented guy, I think you need a little bit more drive, a little bit more hunger. You didn't show that in your last fight as much as I would have liked to have seen. He's getting in condition right now. After the Pacquiao press tour, I come back here, and he'll be here. It should be a lot of fun. The fight's in Florida, it looks like Delvin Rodriguez is gonna be our opponent. I'm looking forward to that. After that tune-up fight, there's some real big fights out there for him."

Marcos Villegas, Fight Hub TV: "Maybe Sergio?"

Freddie Roach: "That's what I'm looking for."

Marcos Villegas, Fight Hub TV: "When you told him you felt that he needed a little bit more 'umph,' that he was getting a little bit lazy, how did he react to that? Was he receptive?"

Freddie Roach: "It was over the phone, so it was really hard to tell his reaction. I'll get a better idea about how it is here, because I will push him. I'm sure he'll respond well to it, though, because one thing about working with guys like this, he's a very knowledgable guy. He probably knows as much about boxing as I do. We just need to bring out the best in him, and that's what I think I can do."

Marcos Villegas, Fight Hub TV: "Looking at his last performance against Austin Trout, a lot of people have been saying Cotto should retire. Did you ever feel that at a certain point that Cotto should retire, and if you did what made you kind of change your mind now?"

Freddie Roach: "Well, I never thought that he should retire. Trout's not an easy guy to fight. He's a very awkward guy, and that's where I saw -- I would have liked to have seen a little more firepower. I wanted him to dig down deep and fight this guy hard, because I think Trout's the type of guy who might quit. I don't think he's a real hard guy. He's a good boxer and so forth, but I thought Miguel should just sit down and go back to those body punches he used to be so good at. So we talked about that a little bit, and he said it was just a guy who was really awkward for him. We'll start fresh. The new gym downstairs should be finished by then, I think he'll be my first fighter downstairs."

Marcos Villegas, Fight Hub TV: "How soon does he get here? When will that happen?"

Freddie Roach: "August 1st."

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