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Freddie Roach talks training, Cotto, Mayweather, and more

Manny Pacquiao's training has begun in the Philippines as he prepares for his fight with Miguel Cotto. Trainer Freddie Roach is making the media rounds. (Photo by JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Manny Pacquiao's training has begun in the Philippines as he prepares for his fight with Miguel Cotto. Trainer Freddie Roach is making the media rounds. (Photo by JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)

As Manny Pacquiao's training camp has started to get moving in the Philippines, trainer Freddie Roach is doing his usual good job of making the media rounds and serving as the mouthpiece for everyone, as much as he can.

Roach tells Frank Cimatu of the Philippine Daily Inquirer that they're ready for Cotto to "pull a Mayweather" and come in heavy:

"I'm prepared for that possibility," Roach said about Cotto, the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion, going two pounds heavier than the required catch weight of 145 pounds when he fights Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Nov. 14.


"But that's no problem," Roach said. "I'm not worried."

"One or two pounds heavier, we are not worried. We have the best fighter here," he said.

It's nice copy and makes for a good, strong quote. "Hey, let him. We've got the BEST FIGHTER HERE."

But it does beg the question: Why make it a catchweight at all then? If you recognize the possibility for Cotto to still just come in at 147 anyway -- and Roach says there's no big financial penalty for going over in their contract -- why bother? Why not just fight at 147 pounds? It doesn't matter, apparently. This quote essentially tells Cotto to forget getting to 145 if he's having any issue with it at all, which he may well not. I'm not even saying this catchweight is any really big deal. Of the three recent catchweights (this, Mayweather-Marquez and that ridiculous Diaz-Malignaggi weight), it's the one I most understand and least see any issue with. But apparently it didn't even need to be one, and if it gets broken, nobody cares.

Freddie told GMA News that Cotto has one glaring weakness:

"He’s not strong to the body," Roach pointed out. "I think we have to break him down in the earlier rounds and work at the body a lot."

Manny's really never been a great body puncher, but he can do some damage to the breadbasket. I actually think this is probably the wrong idea, but let's be honest, I ain't Freddie Roach. There's a reason he gets paid a lot of money to train Manny Pacquiao and I talk about boxing on the internet. Seems to me that Pacquiao's fast, slashing-style punches upstairs are probably going to cut Cotto and his vulnerable face up within just a few rounds, which would give them a big early advantage.

Speaking with GMA News again:

Freddie Roach has one piece of advice to his politics-bound ward: Beat Floyd Mayweather, Jr. first in an ultimate battle for the mythical P4P title before hanging up your gloves.

"I would like (Manny) to finish with beating Mayweather," Roach said in an interview in Baguio City, where Team Pacquiao is encamped for the Pacman’s training for his upcoming fight with Miguel Cotto.

Pacquiao is still insistent that he'll be running for office, which he's done before, and that his career is near its end. Roach also spoke candidly about Mayweather to Dennis Principe:

"Mayweather's not the bravest guy in the world so you got to take chances. He's a very difficult style for anyone but with enough punching power and pressure I think my fighter can get him because I've got the best fighter in the world," said Roach.

Roach thinks the most difficult aspect of dealing with Mayweather is not inside the ring but on the negotiating table.

"It's what the world wants to see. But the thing is, can you get him sign the contract? I don't know. It's going to be difficult because he thinks he's going to get all the money," said Roach. "If he thinks he's going to get equal money with us, he's crazy. He needs us, we don't need him."

Roach justified his assessment of Mayweather's marketability by describing the American's 12-round decision win against Marquez last weekend at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

"Let's face it, the guy that puts asses on the seats is Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather doesn't draw. Against Marquez the venue was 80% Mexican," said Roach.

"He needs us, we don't need him" is, again, nice copy, but not really true. If Manny beats Cotto, and both Floyd and Manny want the biggest fight for the biggest money out there (by far, mind you, as Shane Mosley against either won't equal the money), they'll need each other.

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