The undisputed greatest trainer in the history of boxing has once again agreed to give us some inside information on Manny Pacquiao as he prepares for his upcoming bout with Miguel Cotto. Let’s welcome Freddie back to the doghouse.
David Tyler: Hi Fred, nice to see you back at home here in Los Angeles, how are things?
Freddie Roach: Everything is good. We are training hard during the day and I’ve been studying video of Miguel Cotto every evening.
DT: Any distractions?
FR: Only reporters wanting interviews. I just don’t have the time with the big fight so close. Since we are friends, I can give you just a few minutes.
DT: Good enough. How was the training in the Philippines?
FR: As you know, we had to put up with some bad weather but Manny’s training went well. My heart goes out to the many Filipinos that suffered because of the typhoons. It was very sad. Over 350 people lost their lives. Something I will never forget.
DT: Did the Ninja miss any days of training?
FR: No. We trained every day and he was taking the training very serious. I was very surprised that he was in great condition when we started the training?
FR: Because I was not allowed to talk with Manny while he was in the Philippines and I was here at the WildCard. It made me angry and nervous about his conditioning. He stays in shape year round but I did not expect him to be able to go 10 strong rounds during sparring sessions in the first week.
DT: In our last interview you were mad at Mike Koncz, has the relationship gotten better?
FR: I don’t care about Mike Koncz, I am focused on Manny and having him ready for the fight against Cotto. Manny likes Koncz and that’s OK with me. Mike Koncz handles some business deals with Manny and I handle the boxing end of things. These are Manny’s decisions and I respect his decisions.
DT: So the rumors about you and Manny splitting are just rumors?
FR: 100%, Manny and I will always be together as a team. He has a lot of respect for me and how I have helped his career. Manny’s success relates to my success and it’s been one of the great Trainer/Fighter relationships in boxing.
DT: Probably the best in the history of boxing.
FR: Thank You.
DT: Fred how does the Ninja look today?
FR : He looks great, we are 99% there and I would say that we are where we want to be at this point. He is sparring 16 straight rounds with no problems. People will be amazed at how strong he will look on fight night. He is really a bigger, faster, stronger version of how he looked against Ricky Hatton.
DT: Wow! How do you see the fight?
FR: Manny will knock out Cotto for certain!
FR: Probably in nine or ten.
DT: Do you think that Cotto will come out in round one and be aggressive?
FR: I think he will run and try to be a counter puncher like Marquez.
DT: Speaking of Marquez, what did you think of his fight with Mayweather?
FR: Come on, you had one guy that was much bigger than the other. Mayweather did not fight, he leaned back and took advantage of his reach and size advantage. A very boring fight and I was not surprised with the PPV numbers. I believe a lot of people, certainly the Filipinos, bought the fight just to see how Mayweather would look against Manny.
DT: Fred the Ninja is smaller than Mayweather, how would you train him to beat Mayweather?
FR: Mayweather is a difficult opponent. He is very good with the defense and he will not take chances in a fight. Manny punches much harder than Marquez and we will constantly be putting pressure on Mayweather, if he gives us the body to hit then we hit the body, we will beat him up because Manny hits harder and he is the faster fighter.
DT: So that’s the strategy against Mayweather?
FR: Beat his body up, yes.
DT: So the strategy against Cotto will be?
FR: If Cotto comes forward then he is knocked out. He is a good counter puncher but if he chooses to go that way then we will constantly be on the attack.
DT: Fred, Manny has been knocked down by body punches and Cotto is known as a body puncher.
FR: Manny was knocked down by body shots when he was 112 lbs. and that was nine years ago. I can guarantee you that will never happen again. Never, ever!
DT: So Cotto will not land any body shots against Manny?
FR: Cotto probably will not land a single punch against Manny, he is just too slow. Manny will be fighting the in and out style which will give him such a huge advantage against a very slow fighter. Manny will tag him hard at some point of the fight and then finish him off. Cotto has been lucky against other fighters who let him off the hook when he was hurt. Manny smells blood and he goes for the kill shot. Manny is in the best condition and stronger than I have ever seen him this close to a fight.
DT: Fred, how about the fact that Cotto knows how to negate his opponents speed. Like he did against Mosley?
FR: Mosley is not in the same class of hand speed that Manny brings to a fight. Cotto will not be able to stop Manny’s speed without being knocked out.
DT: When will team Pacquiao head to Las Vegas.
FR: Monday, November 9th.
DT: Thank you for the time.
FR: David, I want to thank everyone that sent letters, e-mails, phone calls, while we were training in the Philippines. People have been very kind, and I am touched by their concern. I wish I could reach out personally to each and everyone that needs help, especially in the Philippines where things are really bad. It’s a tough time and I hope Manny’s big victory can bring a moment of happiness to the Filipinos as they try and recover from the recent devastation caused by the Typhoons.
DT: Freddie Roach, those are some very kind words for Manny’s fans and his fellow countrymen. May the love of God be with the people of the Philippines. As for team Pacquiao, we wish you all the best on November 14th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas!
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