Roach: I don’t want to hear ‘my knee hurts’ from Martinez once we beat him
Top trainer Freddie Roach is confident his fighter Miguel Cotto can make the step up from 154lbs when the Puerto Rican challenges WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez on Saturday at a catchweight of 159lbs.
Roach, who began working with Cotto after his loss to Austin Trout, believes the three-weight world title holder has all the attributes to dethrone Martinez at Madison Square Garden, and is confident of what the outcome will be.
“Well, we moved up the weight a little bit and put on more muscle – I think he may actually be taller and he will be stronger on the inside and much more physical on the inside than Martínez is, and we are going to push him around with no problem. I think on the inside we are the bigger stronger fighter,” said Roach.
“I think he knows how to control the ring a lot better now – we really work on that, ring generalship, quite a bit. I wasn’t part of the Trout fight but I did see the fight. I know Miguel can do a lot better and he has been showing that in training with the bigger, stronger sparring partners and we are more scientific about our approach to this fight and how to control the ring a lot better.
“I think he’s come a long way this being our second fight together. We have had a great training camp and have a great rapport with each other. I think the problem has been solved in how to cut the ring off from our opponent.
“We are going into the fight thinking Sergio is going to be the best that he can be and that’s the way it should be. It sounds like he’s already making excuses but we plan for him to be at his best and we are going to beat him at his best.
If he is not mobile then we will catch him a lot earlier than later and it is just a matter of time. But the thing is I am tired of his excuses. I don’t want to hear after the fight “my knee hurts.” He’s going into the fight – he signed for the fight – he knows what he’s up against.
“He might be bigger but he is not better. I think I have the more experienced fighter and the more talented fighter. So that’s what I am counting on and we are ready to go. We are sparring today and everything is right on track.
“Miguel is one of the hardest punchers I have worked with and even with my body protector on, that doesn’t help that much any more – Miguel goes right through that.
“His punching power is great, his speed has been good and everything is right where I want it to be. Miguel is one of the hardest workers I have been with and he is the most disciplined fighter I have ever worked with. We have a great relationship and it will show in the fight.”
Remaining tickets to the Cotto vs. Martínez world middleweight championship event, priced at $750, $500, $300, $200, $100 and $50, can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online atwww.ticketmaster.com and www.thegarden.com.
Cotto vs. Martinez happens Saturday, June 7 live on pay-per-view beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. The fight is also live on BoxNation in the UK. Subscribe at BoxNation