COTTO WON’T SPAR WITH PACQUIAO
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Mon, 24 Feb 2014
“Trainer of the Year” Freddie Roach who was scheduled to leave on Monday to join ”Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao at his training camp in General Santos City disclosed that even if Miguel Cotto trains alongside Pacquiao, he will not spar with him.
Roach told the Manila Standard on his arrival from Macau on Sunday that Cotto would train at the Pacman Wild Card Gym should Pacquiao decide to train in his hometown for four weeks which was the original plan. Otherwise, he said, if Pacquiao decides to leave for the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles earlier, Cotto would join him there.
Roach said he would have a clearer picture once he meets with Pacquiao on Monday.
The celebrated trainer dismissed reports that Cotto would spar with Pacquiao who scored a 12th round TKO over the Puerto Rican in November 2011 pointing out that the former three division champion has moved up in weight and is now fighting at 160 pounds and will challenge middleweight champion Sergio Martinez of Argentina at New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 7.
He said he would check on how Pacquiao’s condition is as he planned to begin sparring this week with undefeated former Floyd Mayweather Sr protégé Lydell Rhodes (19-0, 9 KO’s).
Roach also confirmed a Standard story last week that former world light welterweight champion Kendall Holt who lost his title to Bradley by a unanimous decision despite dropping the undefeated Bradley once in round one and once more in round twelve, would be among Pacquiao’s sparring partners in Los Angeles.
Roach said he plans to train Pacquiao to be more aggressive in his April 12 rematch with Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Hotel in Las Vegas and indicated while he won’t go looking for a knockout he will take it if he gets an opening.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz who arrived with Roach from Macau told us that Pacquiao’s training had been going well and it will “step up a notch now that Freddie is here.”
Koncz said in his mind “nothing short of a knockout will do” to help Pacquiao regain his stature as an elite fighter.
Photo: Roach, Cotto and Pacquiao at the Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles.
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