Friday, March 24, 2023  |


Freddie Roach wants Canelo, then Golovkin for Miguel Cotto


Photo by Chris Farina

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Freddie Roach says he wants to see THE RING/WBC middleweight champion Miguel Cotto face Canelo Alvarez next, followed by oft-avoided WBA titleholder Gennady Golovkin.

The six-time BWAA trainer of the year, who is training WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao for his Nov. 22 fight with Chris Algieri, laid out his dream plans for the four-division titleholder from Caguas, Puerto Rico.

“I think Canelo Alvarez is obviously our number-one choice, and then I would love to go fight Triple G [Gennady Golovkin] after we win that fight,” said Roach. “Of course there’s [Floyd] Mayweather out there, he’s ducking Manny but he beat Cotto once and I don’t know if he wants to fight us but that’s a pretty interesting fight for me.

“Cotto told me after our first fight together [a third-round technical knockout of Delvin Rodriguez in October 2013], ‘If I was in this kind of shape when I fought Mayweather I would’ve knocked him out.’ I like his confidence there.”

Alvarez (44-1-1, 31 KOs) recently signed a deal to bring him back to the HBO network after fighting on Showtime for the past several fights. Alvarez withdrew from his Dec. 6 bout with Joshua Clottey due to an ankle injury, which promoter Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions says had been hampering him since before his most recent fight against Erislandy Lara.

De La Hoya says that Alvarez will instead return on May 2, 2015 – the weekend before Cinco De Mayo – with Cotto (39-4, 32 KOs) and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. shortlisted as potential opponents to go against Floyd Mayweather’s pay-per-view event on Showtime against an opponent to be named.

Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs) will face perennial contender Marco Antonio Rubio this Saturday at the Stubhub Center in Carson, California, with the interim WBC title also at stake. The winner of the bout would logically be the mandatory challenger for Cotto, who won the belt with a one-sided 10th-round TKO of Sergio Martinez in June of this year.

“I would like one fight before that [facing Golovkin.] Obviously we do have a 160-pound title we have to defend and I think he’s the perfect opponent for us. Maybe the two best fighters in the world,” said Roach, who also brought former WBC lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco, who faces Jessie Vargas on the Pacquiao-Algieri undercard, and former IBF super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute to the Pacquiao training camp in GenSan.

Roach pointed out that all fight negotiations go through Cotto’s lawyer Gabby Penagaricano.


Cotto’s revival

When asked what he thought contributed to Cotto’s career revival, Roach points to his previous scouting of Cotto before his 2009 bout with Pacquiao. Pacquiao dropped Cotto twice en route to a 12th-round TKO.

“I knew him pretty well so I knew what he needed to improve on him,” said Roach, who calls Cotto “one of the best students I’ve ever had.”

“Another thing we did, he used to like to run hills six days a week and run long distances where his legs were like jelly at the end. We took him off the long runs and put him on the inside machines and a lot more sprint work on the track and didn’t let him burn out.

“We let him fight at a weight that he’s comfortable with. Someone asked me the other day, ‘How’d you make him smile? He used to be the meanest pr__k in the world.’ I said, ‘When people make weight they become mean.'”



Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.