Negotiations between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao didn’t go so well, and the WBC welterweight champion is currently set to face Miguel Cotto on May 5. Well respected boxing trainer Freddie Roach is well known for his role in Pacquiao’s success, and he thinks, the sports pound-for-pound best might have bitten off more than he can chew.
“Manny had one of his greatest victories against Cotto. But their styles [Pacquiao and Mayweather] are so different,” Roach told Jose Sanchez. “Floyd sometimes averages 15 punches per round. How can you beat someone like Cotto, who is a strong puncher and throws so many punches [15 punches per round]? When Cotto catches you on the ropes, that’s where he does his best work. And Mayweather likes to lean against the ropes to counter. In that scenario, Cotto could succeed.”
While Roach wasn’t even close to being accurate with his assessment that Floyd only throws 15 punches per round (he averaged 52 punches per round in his last bout against Victor Ortiz), Cotto does match up well with the WBC champ.
The Cotto that’ll face Mayweather in May will be a lot better than the guy that faced Pacquiao in 2009, given the fact they’ll be fighting at 154 pounds and his recent successes. Cotto is coming off a decent performance against Antonio Margarito, avenging the first loss of his professional boxing career.
“As for styles, it is an interesting fight,” Roach added. “It’s a good technical boxer fighting with a counter-puncher. Mayweather is strong physically, but I think Cotto is a bit stronger. Mayweather is definitely much faster, as was Pacquiao. Miguel has to be very careful about the kind of fight against a counter-puncher like Mayweather. I think his new coach will know how to fight him because he is Cuban and that is the style of almost all Cuban fighters [counter-punching]. With a good strategy, Cotto will do very good job.”
At 154 pounds, Cotto will be the bigger fighter coming into bout, and the right game plan will give him a little bit of a chance against Mayweather. Cotto had his moments when he faced Pacquiao, and the end result of that fight could have been different if fatigue wasn’t a factor.
I don’t think Cotto is technical enough to beat Mayweather at the counter-punching game, but an aggressive game plan will give him a punchers chance.