Freddie Roach with Miguel Cotto on Saturday night (Photo: Chris Farina – Top Rank)
By Chris Robinson
This past weekend, Puerto Rican fan favorite Miguel Cotto made a resounding return to the ring by dispatching former title challenger Delvin Rodriguez in under three rounds at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fl.
Showing vintage form in what turned out to be more of a showcase bout on HBO’s airwaves as opposed to a real challenge, Cotto (38-4, 31 KO’s) ripped Rodriguez’s body early with abandon and left him dazed at the end of the second round after a whistling left hook caught his temple.
The end came moments into the third frame, as Cotto pounced on the lanky Dominican along the ropes before dropping him to the canvas with another potent left. Seconds later, referee Frank Santore Jr. would waive the contest off.
While much of the talk at the post-fight press conference and within boxing circles centered around the possibility of Cotto facing either lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez or Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in the future, those weren’t the only big names in the play.
When asked about a rematch with pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather, who defeated Cotto in May of last year in a competitive fight over twelve rounds, Miguel’s new trainer Freddie Roach seemed extremely interested.
Roach trained Cotto at his famed Wild Card Boxing Club for the Rodriguez fight, finishing the camp in a newly-renovated space right under the original gym, and he seems confident that he was able to rekindle a special kind of spirit from his fighter.
“Miguel told me about two days ago, if he was in the shape he is in now, he would have won that fight [with Mayweather],” Roach stated following the Rodriguez victory.
“And I do believe he would,” Roach added. “I would love to have that rematch.”
You never truly know how a union between a high-profile trainer and a world-class pugilist will go over, but Roach and Cotto seem to have a great chemistry with one another.
More than anything, Roach was quick to give all the praise to Cotto for working so tirelessly ahead of his 42nd professional bout.
“I’d like to thank Miguel for listening to me and being one of the best students I’ve ever had,” Roach said. “One thing about it, when the fight starts, I sit down and he fights. I give him all the credit; it was a great performance. Thank you for making me look good.”
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Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com