Roach hails 'great student' Cotto

Posted at 06/09/2014 2:03 PM
Boxing trainer Freddie Roach celebrates boxer Miguel Cotto's victory over Sergio Martinez in their WBC middleweight title bout at Madison Square Garden. Photo by Brendan McDermid, Reuters

Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach was all praises for Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto after the boxer demolished Argentina's Sergio Martinez last Saturday in New York to win the WBC middleweight championship.

Cotto hired Roach as his trainer in July 2013, and their partnership has been successful. With Roach in his corner, Cotto knocked out Delvin Rodriguez last October and then completely dominated Martinez in one of the best performances of his career.

"We had a great game plan, and he followed it to a T," Roach told Boxing Scene of Cotto. "He’s maybe one of the best students I've ever had."

"Thank you, Miguel, for making me look so good," he added.

According to Roach, Cotto trained "nine hard weeks" to prepare for Martinez and was dedicated and disciplined the whole time.

"Miguel is a great student. His dedication and his discipline are unbelievable," said Roach. "We start at 5 a.m. every morning in the gym. I hate getting up early, but we start a 5 a.m. every day. He’s there at 4:45."

"We work three hours on strength and conditioning, then he goes home to rest for a while, gets something to eat, and he comes back at 1 o'clock and we do two and a half hours of boxing," he added.

"He is a very dedicated guy. And that's why, at his age, he's so good."

Roach contrasted Cotto with another one of his former fighters, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who lost to Martinez via unanimous decision in September 2012.

Martinez had out-classed Chavez over the course of 12 rounds, but the young Mexican nearly pulled off a comeback in the final round when he decked the Argentine. Martinez survived, however.

"Chavez is a good friend of mine," Roach said. "We had three great fights together. He never said 'no'to me once in training camp. He was one of the best students and we had some great results."

For the Martinez fight, however, "something happened and he just fell apart," Roach said of Chavez, revealing that the boxer trained for only five days.

"It was just impossible to get Chavez ready in five days," he lamented.

He had his revenge this time around, however, with Cotto as his fighter.

"I had the right guy this time that would follow the game plan," Roach said. "We did well."