Roach on Golovkin: ‘He’s a good, young prospect’
Freddie Roach isn’t all that consumed with the May 2 “Super Fight,” which makes sense, since his stable of fighters goes far beyond Manny Pacquiao. He’s in China, as we speak, with his flyweight contender Zou Shiming (who meets Amnat Ruenroeng Saturday in a clash which runs on HBO2) and he also has an eye and ear out for what comes next for the Puerto Rican icon he’s helmed for his last two bouts, Miguel Cotto.
I asked Freddie about what he’d like to see next for Cotto, who impressed the world mightily by taking it to Sergio Martinez last June when they tangled in New York City. Cotto lifted the RING and WBC middleweight belts from “Maravilla” and some less-than-impressed folks are of the mind that Martinez came into the bout as damaged goods. Regardless, Cotto has been active mostly at the negotiation table since and we’re all waiting for his next move. Our Michigan source tells us it looks like a decent bet that Cotto will face Cornelius “K9” Bundrage, who holds the IBF 154-pound crown, next.
A lot of fans are keen to see Cotto (who probably isn’t, at 5-foot-7, best suited to tangle at 160), frankly, be the sternest test to date for Gennady Golovkin, the Kazakh-born hitter who dissected Brit Martin Murray in Monaco on Feb. 21.
“With Cotto, I can’t wait for him to get a fight,” said Roach. “It’s been a long time. I feel a little bad; he’s one of best in world today! I can’t wait to get into the gym with Miguel after the Mayweather fight. It’s a great relationship and he’s not done yet!”
So any preference next for Miguel? Does a Cotto-Golovkin fight excite Roach?
“That’s up to Gaby Penagaricano; I have nothing to do with negotiations. I pick Miguel 100 percent to win that fight against Golovkin but I’m not part of negotiations of who he chooses. I do feel it’s a winnable fight. Gennady’s last fight, there were like 900 people there. It wasn’t that good a show; it was mediocre. Murray tried a little bit but I thought Golovkin should have ended it earlier.”
It sounds like Roach doesn’t think Golovkin is the second coming of Marvelous Marvin Hagler.
“Noooo,” Roach said, drawing out his response. “He’s a good, young prospect but the caliber of guys he’s fighting right now, it’s a small pool, not that deep. I’d love to get Cotto ready for Golovkin. He is a good ring general, does do some very good good things, but he’s not perfect. Nobody is perfect.”
Michael Woods, a Brooklyn resident, is the first vice president of the Boxing Writers Association of America and has done broadcast work for DiBella Entertainment, EPIX and FOX Sports 1. You can follow him at twitter.com/woodsy1069.