Miguel Cottoâs Media Workout at Wild Card Gym
Former three-division champion Miguel Cotto (37-4-0, 30 KOs) returns to the ring on October 5, 2013, when he takes on Delvin Rodriguez (28-6-3-, 16 KOs) in a twelve round super-welterweight bout at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL.
The thirty-two year old Puerto Rican boxing star held a media workout yesterday with his new trainer, Freddie Roach, at the Wild Card Boxing gym in Hollywood, CA. Team Cotto has been ensconced in privacy for the past six weeks in the newly-opened Wild Card annex, housed directly underneath the original gym, a frequent backdrop for the HBO series "24/7."
Until yesterday's event, no one outside of Team Cotto, except for his sparring partners, has been able to catch even a glimpse of Miguel working out. The two annex doors are solid steel, and the clerestory windows are well above the reach of prying eyes. Curious fans and fighters are routinely turned away by security agent, Rob Peters.
However, once the door was opened to the dozens of members of the press who crammed into the one-ring, one-bag gym, they were witness to a bona fide Miguel Cotto workout set to salsa music.
Cotto warmed up on the stationary bicycle and rope, before taking on the "meat" of his workout: six rounds of instruction on the mitts with Freddie Roach, who was also sporting his wrap-around body shield.
The soft-spoken trainer worked with Cotto on his check left hook to the head and hard left body shot, and drilled the roll-under-punches, and the pivot-out-of-a-clinch movements. The duo moved on to the heavy bag, and Miguel finished off with the double-end and speed bags, more rope, and assisted stretching.
At first glance, Miguel and Freddie might seem like an odd match; just four years ago they were in fiercely opposite corners when Cotto tangled with Roach's Filipino protege.
Freddie laughed as he recalled answering his phone this summer to hear, "Hi, this is Miguel Cotto." He nearly hung up, figuring it was a prank. But Cotto was absolutely serious about retaining the hall-of-fame trainer's services, whom the welterwight feels "...has the respect of the boxing community..."
Perhaps Cotto felt a change of scene was in order after his two outings in 2012, which account for half of his total career losses. While he may have given Floyd Mayweather his toughest battle to date, Miguel suffered another unanimous decision loss within seven months to Austin Trout.
Cotto knew that "Freddie is the kind of trainer who will tell you what you need to do..." And to prepare Miguel for their October outing, Roach has stressed, "...offense, offense, offense."
Specifically, Freddie wants Miguel to "...use his jab more, work the left hook to the body like he used to, and stay off the ropes." While Roach would give his new student more than a passing grade on the first two tests, he feels, "We could use a little more of that [staying off the ropes]."
Assistant trainer Marvin Somodia verified that Cotto has demonstrated his learning curve over the past six weeks. "The first day [of camp], he was big, not in shape, but he has improved his speed and combinations. Every sparring session he improves something; speed, timing. In one week, he will be at one hundred percent," the inconspicuous but efficient Filipino coach asserted.
Bryan Perez, who forms Cotto's entourage-of-one and is the executive director of the fighter's promotional company, says the biggest shift he has seen in his friend during camp is, "...his desire to be back on top and to work hard to get there."
And the fighter insists he has re-dedicated himself to the fight game, answering a reporter's question adamantly, " Yeah, yeah, I still have the passion."
The twelve round contest on October 5 against his Dominican foe from Danbury, CT, is a non-title affair that will serve as a litmus test for Miguel Cotto's hunger as well as the chemistry in the corner with his hall-of-fame trainer, Freddie Roach.
Cotto-Rodriguez will be televised live on HBO on Saturday October 5, 2013 at 9:45 PM ET/PT from the Amway Center in Orlando, FL.