Saturday, January 28, 2023  |


Roach discusses Cotto’s short list and long green


Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank Promotions


Freddie Roach has gotten ample credit for the version of Miguel Cotto we saw have his way with Sergio Martinez last June. So now that word comes out that the RING middleweight champion is the “50 Million Dollar Man,” that the deal he signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports boxing arm could be worth well north of that, I had to ask “Dedham Freddie” one salient query: Did he ask Cotto for a raise?

Roach chuckled mightily when I posed this pretty tongue-in-check question.

“At that level, I don’t ask for a percentage,” the trainer told me. “[Cotto and Manny Pacquiao] pretty much tell me what they want to give me and I’m happy. I don’t go back and forth. I say, ‘Pay me what I’m worth to you.”’

Roach, now deep into training mode with “Pac-Man” for the May 2 Super Bowl of Boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr., said he was happy for Cotto getting that massive cash stash from Roc Nation. “This is a business,” he said. “Business is business.” Roach thinks Cotto fights next in June and is looking forward to working with him again, no matter who he fights next.

Nope, Cotto won’t be heading to the Wild Card to train side by side with Pacquiao. Yes, they like each other but as we know, Manny beat Cotto when they fought, so it might be mildly weird. “They are too big to work together,” Roach said.

Roach also said he’d be happy if Cotto, who also holds the WBC belt, signed on to fight Amir Khan, a former client. “That’s a winnable fight for us,” said Dedham Freddie, “but it’s not a given. Amir has very fast hands. His speed is his greatest asset but we’d have the game plan to beat him; I think.”

What about WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin? He needs a dance partner…Roach dismissed the size of Golovkin’s last outing, against Martin Murray. “There might have been 900 people in the room, fighting in Morocco or whatever. [Editor’s note: Actually, it was Monaco.] Who the heck is booking this guy? If there’s no money in such a high-risk fightÔǪ? The fight I like best for us is versus Canelo Alvarez. If he beats James Kirkland, it’s good for us. It’s a winnable fight; the fans would love that fight. That’s my favorite fight for Miguel Cotto.”


Michael Woods is a Brooklyn-based boxing writer. Follow him on Twitter and read more from him on