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.
It is one of the pressing questions regarding the Premier Boxing Champions fights this past weekend. Why hasnât Danny Garcia looked good since he beat Lucas Matthysse? Many, including myself, thought Matthysse held the firepower not only to out punch Garcia, but to even knock him out. Before their respective fight, Garcia had fought Zab Judah in April 2013 and for the first time looked vulnerable post his big knockouts of Amir Khan and Erik Morales. Garcia governed the early latter, but Judah was able to bully Garcia in the later rounds and open a few wounds. After the final bell, Garcia was declared as the winner. Lucas Matthysse on the other hand, obliterated Lamont Peterson in three, only a few weeks later. Garcia, who was present at the fight was shown in the crowd, looking rather dead-eyed and fueling speculations that he feared a matchup with Matthysse and a fight between the two was unlikely to happen. But Danny proved us all wrong, he fought Matthysse that September and won convincingly and even knocked down the hard-hitting Argentine. However, since then, Danny has looked a tad mediocre in two of his last three fights. Considering how these fights have went, it should be agreed upon that âSwiftâ has gotten maybe a little too âhook happyâ in there, as his left hook was the formula for the biggest wins of his career. He does very little else, but stand flat-footed, use little head movement, wait to throw one of his signature âno-look hooksâ and hope to get lucky. He fought Mauricio Herrera in a coming out party to an all Puerto-Rican crowd but wasnât able to deal with the awkward and crafty style of âEl Maestroâ for a greater part of the fight. Garcia spent most of his rounds sporadically landing or swinging at air versus Herrera, who even with little power, was successful in leaving Garcia bloodied in the end. Surprisingly, Danny Garcia was awarded the victory. The Rod Salka fight that followed isnât noteworthy enough to talk about, because it shouldnât of even happened in the first place. A total mismatch that many have found hard to even give any credit for. Moving on, here we are and the Lamont Peterson fight has just happened. Peterson made the same mistake as Zab Judah, of not being active enough in the early rounds, but stayed mobile and disallowed Garcia the ability to ever really land any decent punches on him. He also further exposed the flaws of his opponent, one being his inability to cut off the ring against anyone who wonât just stand in the pocket and allow him to tee off. Needless to say, the late rounds came and suddenly Peterson was turning the heat on and bossing Garcia around the ring, once again leaving his face a bruised mess. But someway, somehow, despite the obviousness that he simply chased and was ineffective for a huge percentage of the fight, Garciaâs hand was raised in the end. Its possible that Garcia has gotten very reliant on his devastating hooks to pull him through, but it has become apparent that his recent victories leave many questions unanswered as well. And considering he doesnât seem to be a fan of giving rematches, I doubt weâll ever get any of those answers. Danny has won too many of his recent fights, by the skin of his teeth for him, his fans, or anyone else really, to be confident that that â0â on his record will stay for much longer. A move up to welterweight may not be the solution either, bearing in mind that the opponents only get bigger, stronger and considering how Danny has struggled to beat relatively âBâ fighters a class lower, thereâs a question mark attached to a shift up in weight. But hey, Garcia has defied the odds before, who says he canât again? All that can be said is that if things donât change, âSwiftâ will meet his maker in the ring at some point very soon.
On May 2nd, 2015, yes you heard it right, May 2nd, the same night as the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao mega fight; Rite Hook Promotions and The Hard Rock Casino Biloxi are bringing boxing back to the Gulf Coast with Biloxi "Sweet Science 3â live boxing and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao live streaming on a 35ft screen. Together we have an event that is unlike most live boxing events. Rite Hook Promotions in conjunction Phil Juliano, his experience in the casino industry along with his vision to bring boxing back to Biloxi made this event possible. Combined with Robyn Smith, Director of Entertainment at the Hard Rock Biloxi, this event will solidify the Hard Rock as a new player in live boxing on the national level. We will kick-off this Spring 2015 series with a hard-hitting main event featuring Tampa's undefeated Radivoje "Hot Rod" Kalajdzic, 17(11)-0-0 currently ranked in the Top 40 in the world. He is a Serbian, undefeated prospect that should start to step into the "prime time" boxing scene very soon. Rite Hook has hosted fighters such as Willie "El Mongoose" Monroe who will fight GGG as the main event May 16th. Hot Rod is on a similar path to becoming a world champion. He is a slick athletic fighter with KO power and is always enjoyable to watch. In our co-main event Mike "Concrete" Bissett, a Biloxi native who fights out of Tampa, will be in action. He is a durable cruiserweight that is not scared to fight anyone. Even with a record of 8(6)-7(4)-0 which may be deceiving due to the level of competition he has face in his professional career. He will be matched against fellow boxer-puncher James "King James" Johnson of Louisiana. Johnson is a veteran fighter with 73 fights under his belt. There are 4 welterweight prospects that will complete this card. Manny Woods Jr. (12)4-3(0)-0 also a resident of Tampa is ready to step back in the ring in preparation to advance in rankings in one of the most talent filled divisions in the sport. Bobby Bryant 15(9)-0-0 from Memphis is scheduled to make his return to the ring after a 3 year layoff. Eric "Babyface" Johnson 9(4)-0-0 from the Roy Jones Jr. camp is ready to display his Roy-like skills which always seem to be a problem for his opponents. Local professional Tom "Hitman" Howard 8(4)-2(0)-0 will also be in the action. Hard-hitting heavyweight and dual sport professional prospect Tony Johnson Jr. 1(1)-0-0 will be in the ring and ready to make his opponents night a short one. Johnson is fighting live on Spike TV April 10th against Alexander Volkov who is currently ranked as high as #3 in some professional MMA rankings. He will be back in the boxing ring May 2nd as he wants to fast track the boxing rankings also. He has showed promise in training camps working with world champions in sparring. With his confidence at an all time high, Johnson will be a force to reckon with in the world of boxing for years to come. So remember the name Tony Johnson Jr. Cameron Springer 5(2)-0-1 from Atlanta will be ready to put it all on the line. He is a hungry young fighter with an excellent amateur pedigree. This fight is brought to you by Rite Hook Promotions in conjunction with Kevin Dever of Reved Entertainment, New York and Ivan Echevarria, director of marketing and owner of Pier6 Promotions, Tampa. Tickets to the live fights including the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao stream, priced at $35, $50, $65, $90 and $125, are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com, the Hard Rock Box Office, or by calling (228)-217-5555. For more information, visit www.ritehookpromotions.com, www.hardrockbiloxi.com, or follow us on Twitter at @Ritehookpromo.
Hello ladies and gentleman, Smooth Cat is back!!!! Today I want to touch on a legend in the sport of boxing, Roy Jones Jr. He has accomplished almost every goal he wanted to achieve in his career, but still has one goal he hasn't accomplished yet. That's winning a legitimate Cruiserweight championship. As we all know he isn't exactly the same fighter he once was, when he amazed the boxing world with athleticism that was rivaled by no one. But those days seem so long ago. Actually it has been an extremely long time since we have seen Roy at his very best, but with that being said, his mission will continue this weekend against Paul Vasquez. This will be the second time he's fought in 22 days. We all ask, why Roy why? He's already a first ballot Hall of Famer, he was voted fighter of the decade for 1990's, and has won championships in multiple weights classes. So after reading a recent interview of his, Roy is quoted saying "I don't want to get to heaven and have God say you could have won a world title at 46." He's motivated to put his name in the record book with another accomplishment that will further add to his already great accomplishments. Honestly, Roy doesn't need the Cruiserweight title to validate anything, but when you're a fighter and you're motivated to do something, that fire inside of you can be your worst enemy in some cases. In this situation, the fire in Roy might I say, is very inspirational, but in all honesty this recent run of wins Roy is on, has him actually believing he's reversed the effects of father time, who is an opponent who's undefeated against all fighters who have stuck around too long. I wish the great Roy Jones Jr. the best of luck, as a huge fan of his, but he needs someone to truly let him know that enough is enough already. He is an excellent commentator for HBO, where he does great work of covering fights, and giving the broadcast team the point of view of a fighter. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm sure that I can't be the only one, who doesn't want to see this legend stretched out on the canvas unconscious! With that being said, I know he isn't going to stop until he gets the fight with Marco Huck, the current "Man" of the Cruiserweight division. If that fight gets made, maybe, just maybe, Roy Jones can turn back the hands of the clock one more time and put on a vintage performance, resulting in him possibly pulling off the upset against Marco Huck! Regardless of what happens, as a true fan of boxing, I just can't help but worry why is Roy Jones Jr. hanging on too long?
8CNâs David Hopper caught up with Baltimore-based boxing promoter Jake âThe Snakeâ Smith. The 49-year-old Maryland and DC Boxing Hall of Fame member has owned and operated Baltimore Boxing Club and promoted fights for more than 20 years. DH: Please give the readers who arenât familiar with you a brief introduction. JS: My boxing name is Jake âThe Snakeâ Smith. I started boxing when I was 12. I had a 39-4 amateur record and an 11-6-2 professional record. I was Maryland light heavyweight champion and super middleweight champion. This was is in the â90s, late â80s. Iâve promoted over 200 some fights in the pros and amateurs. Iâve owned a boxing gym, Baltimore Boxing, for 23 years. DH: Talk some about the card youâre promoting on Friday, March 27. I heard that it was nearly sold out. Are there still tickets available? JS: Weâre pretty sold out. Iâll still be trying to sell some at the door as long as the fire marshal doesnât come up. [Laughs]. I expect about 1,200. DH: Does Baltimore have a thriving amateur boxing scene? JS: Iâve been doing shows for over 20 something years now. Just after I finished fighting pro I took my clientele with me. It just keeps getting better. In the last six months to a year, boxing has been going crazy. My kids have been real busy. DH: Do you feel like you will benefit from the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight and boxing returning to network TV in that that should create more interest in the sport? JS: Iâm thinking itâs opening up a lot of doors. MMA has helped boxing a lot too. Itâs opened up a lot more eyes to contact sports like boxing and wrestling. Now that theyâre seeing how exciting boxing is, all the fans from MMA are starting to lean more toward boxing. DH: Thatâs an interesting point because many say that MMA has been pulling fans away from boxing. But you feel like itâs had the opposite effect? JS: Oh yes, indeed, it did at first, without question. I just canât stand the way MMA people bang boxing and say how itâs bad and dying and all this stuff. But it did bring more attention to the sport of boxing. A lot more eyes are coming on to boxing because of the standup game. With MMA and boxing you wanna see somebody get knocked out. MMA you get on the ground and roll around and whatever theyâre doing, I not into it. DH: What are some of the things you enjoy most about promoting amateurs? JS: When youâre doing the pro stuff, when money gets involved, it really makes things a little shady. Not really shady, but a little greed gets involved. In amateurs theyâre competing for a trophy and theyâre not lying down in the ring so they can get paid or throwing the fight. These guys are fighting because they want to win and they want to do something with their life. Itâs more relaxing. DH: Are you able to predict which amateurs will turn out to be good pros? Of course, some amateurs have more of a pro style, and some standout amateurs end up not having much success in the pro ranks. JS: Yeah I feel as though I have a pretty good eye for that. Iâve been doing this since I was 12 years old and itâs an everyday thing for me. DH: What are some characteristics of the amateurs who turn out to be good pros? JS: You definitely have to be able to take a punch. You got to have speed. The obvious is basically what it is. You have to have all those things. You have to be a bit of a character too if you want the public to really like you. DH: Whatâs your prediction for Mayweather-Pacquiao? JS: Iâm probably gonna change my mind 10 times before the fight but right now Iâm going with Mayweather. I would love to see Pacquiao but I think Mayweather will pull it off. I hope itâs an exciting fight because I know everyoneâs expectations are real high on this. I donât think it will be a good fight, I think theyâll be feeling each other out too much. Either way I think itâs gonna help boxing no matter what. If itâs a great one, boy, Iâll have to open up a few more gyms I think.