WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto has praised his relationship with trainer Freddie Roach as the two prepare to head into battle against rugged Australian Daniel Geale this Saturday night in New York.
The veteran Puerto Rican joined forces with Roach late in his career in 2013 but has since enjoyed a resurgent period in scoring classy stoppages against Delvin Rodriguez and Sergio Martinez to become a four-weight world champion.
Cotto, 34, has made the decision to enter the ring just once a year for his last two fights and says the extended break has reignited his passion for the sport as he readies himself for a maiden defense of his world title at the Barclays Center.
“I feel good and in the best shape possible. I just feel ready. I know Geale is a tough opponent and he is going to bring his best on June 6, but I trust in the work we have done here in Los Angeles and I’m going to bring my best too,” said Cotto.
“After 14 years in boxing, the best decision I could have made was to take the last year off. My mind was not in boxing, but since I got here with Freddie, everything is working perfectly again. Boxing is all I know. Boxing is my life. Through boxing, I raised my family and I work to provide the best future for them. They are the reason I love boxing.
“Boxing at this point in my career is a battle with myself. Every day I need to bring my best in the gym from morning to evening. Next week has to be better than last week. I need to ask myself to be better every day. I know that if I bring my best to the gym every day, I can bring my best the night of June 6 against Geale.
“Freddie comes here every day with the best attitude and he knows how to get the best out of me.
“It will have been 364 days to the day on June 6 since I have been in the ring. It’s not difficult to get back in after this long stretch. I’ve been focused on my work. I have gained more knowledge during my time off in order to get myself ready to fight again.”
A pay-per-view clash with Canelo Alvarez is said to be in advanced negotiations for the fall and will break Cotto’s inactive cycle being his second fight in 2015, although ‘Junito’ is predictably focused only on Geale for the moment.
“Daniel Geale is the next chapter in my career. After I get through him, I can talk about what comes next,” he stated.
Trainer Roach then had this to say on the man who is now his number one fighter due to an injury to Manny Pacquiao: “Miguel’s sparring has been great. His movement has been very good. It’s hard on me in the ring! His body shots are very effective and the head shots come with it,” he said, before making a prediction on how the contest will go.
“I think we are going to get a late round knockout. Geale is tough enough to go some rounds, but a knockout in a late round…that’s my call,” said Roach.
“One of Miguel’s greatest strength against Geale will be his body shots, but Miguel’s knowledge in the ring will be Geale’s ultimate undoing.
“He has found a new home here at Wild Card and I’m glad I provided that for him. He loves this gym. He loves the atmosphere. He’s thrived in this environment and when a fighter is in a good mood and happy, he performs at the highest level,” added the five-time Trainer of the Year.