Now, it’s Manny’s turn

Freddie Roach got the job done in resuscitating Miguel Cotto’s career with the Puerto Rican rebounding from back-to-back losses to knock out Delvin Rodriguez at 0:18 of the third round in their lightmiddleweight fight in Orlando, Florida, last weekend.

Cotto let go of Cuban trainer Pedro Luis Diaz to hook up with Roach for his comeback fight. He was previously trained by his uncle Evangelista, Joe Santiago and Emanuel Steward. It was Santiago in Cotto’s corner when the Puerto Rican was stopped by Manny Pacquiao in 2009. Roach and Filipino assistant Marvin Somodio conspired to prepare Cotto for Rodriguez. Cotto reached out to Roach who took on the job after the fighter promised to work his butt off in the gym.

What Roach liked about Cotto was his willingness to do what he was told. In camp, Roach went back to basics to rediscover the Cotto of before, the body banger who hammered his way to world titles in the lightwelterweight, welterweight and lightmiddleweight divisions. Cotto committed himself to sacrifice and hard work. He knew this was a make-or-break situation. Another loss would likely end his career.

Against Rodriguez, Cotto was relentless from the start. He didn’t bother using the jab. Cotto pressured Rodriguez as soon as the bell rang for the first round. Rodriguez, who’s supposed to be no slouch, looked like he didn’t belong in the same ring. The Dominican Republic fighter never got to exploit his edge in height and reach. He ran scared the moment Cotto showed he meant business. Worse, Rodriguez was poorly coached. Instead of moving away from Cotto’s dynamite left, Rodriguez walked straight into it. Rodriguez’ lateral movement was to Cotto’s left, not right.  By Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) Full Story

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