Miguel Cotto, who's had a
distinguished career that one day might lead him to the International Boxing
Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York, takes on a new challenge when he faces
middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (at a catchweight of 159 pounds). Cotto
began his career in 2001 as a junior welterweight.
Did he ever think he'd be
fighting as a middleweight?
“No, it never passed my mind
but it's the best thing that could ever happen to me,” he said to Maxboxing a
couple of weeks ago from the Wild Card Boxing Club. “The possibility to be the
first Puerto Rican to be a champion in four different weight divisions, that's
my biggest motivation.”
For the 5’7” Cotto, it's now
about keeping weight on instead of trying to shave it off. And that job of
monitoring his poundage goes to his strength-and-conditioning coach, Gavin
MacMillan, the founder of the Sports Science Lab, who has trained hundreds of
pro athletes. “We're constantly on him about that and maintaining a certain
level of weight. We don't want him going into the ring too light and he's been
very diligent with his meals. He's been very disciplined with what he's eating.
We've taken the advice of a company called PVM (Proteins, Vitamins and
Minerals) [Nutritional Sciences] out of South Africa that's really helped us
with a lot of the nutritional elements of it,” explained MacMillan.
Cotto is fed three large
meals a day and two smaller portions of food in addition to taking nutritional
supplements. MacMillan says the Puerto Rican star consumes “thousands” of
calories per day. Cotto says, “It's the first time in my career that I can eat.
I can normally drink what I want and be comfortable with my weight.”
Generally, Cotto has a poker
face that could bluff Phil Ivey. He reminds you of that quote from former
Dallas Cowboys running back Walt Garrison, who was once asked if he had ever
seen his coach, Tom Landry smile. Garrison replied, “Once, but I was only there
for nine years.” But in this camp, this guy’s grinning like Kool-Aid Man.
His trainer, Freddie Roach says with a laugh, “Every picture, you see Miguel
smiling. ‘How did you get him to smile?’ I say, ‘We feed him.’”
This is not just the second
go-round for Cotto with Roach but also MacMillan, who works with junior
welterweight titlist Ruslan Provodnikov. MacMillan had a much different
objective with Cotto as they prepared for Delvin Rodriguez last fall.
“The first camp that we worked together, that's what we had to do, actually
drop 25 pounds. Now, I think after a period of time, when you develop a trust
with each other, you know what the goals are and what you're trying to achieve
between this fight and the last fight. He kept himself in very good shape. So
once he came into this camp, we could focus more on his just being a better
athlete and also developing more overall power and strength,” said MacMillan. “So
he's known exactly what Freddie and I wanted from him since day one and he's
been 100 percent committed to it. So it's been real easy.
“For me, it's all anyone
ever does for conditioning - run and lose weight. We don't do that; we're
trying to make these guys faster and more athletic so they can box better. From
that end, Miguel's bought in from the very first time we worked together,” continued
MacMillan, who begins each day with Cotto at five in the morning. “We don't use
conventional weights at all but we've implemented a lot of other strength
routines for him for this camp. They're all related to explosion. I'm not
really interested in just weights for mass but we want a higher muscle density
and we definitely want him to be faster and more powerful.”
“It's a variety of
stretching, strengthening, movement drills, things that all relate and transfer
into boxing,” explains MacMillan, who says Cotto's hard running days at the
Griffith Park Observatory (a five-mile, uphill trek) took place on Fridays.
Episode one of HBO’s “24/7: Cotto-Martinez” also showed footage of Cotto
working in a swimming pool.
Roach has long said that
while there is a reason boxing has weight classes, weight itself has never won
a fight. It's clear that Cotto has put in the work and there are lingering
concerns over the physical state of Martinez, who seems to be coming apart at
the seams. But the hay is in the barn for the most part as the fighters head
into the Friday weigh-in. Neither fighter should have any problems making the
Cotto has certainly put in
the requisite work. When you ask MacMillan about his work ethic, he says
simply, “It's unequaled in the business.”
With the WBA giving the
green light, its middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin will face former beltholder
Daniel Geale on July 26th on HBO in Golovkin's first appearance
headlining the big room (yes, where the Knicks and Rangers perform) at Madison
Square Garden. According to Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, the house will be
scaled for 9,000 seats, which is essentially the lower bowl.
Here's the ticket info:
Advance tickets priced at $500, $300,
$200, $100, $50 and $25 can be purchased starting at 10:00
a.m. ET on Thursday, June 5 at
the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster
charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com and Madison Square Garden - Official Web Site
Here's an email that hit my inbox
that I think was as insightful as it was profane:
Brock from lovely Dayton, Ohio here. I thought I'd drop you a few lines
about some of my pet peeves that reared their annoying heads this past weekend.
1. I absolutely hate how over the past 10 years or so, fighters that are involved
in a clash of heads react. I understand your head collided with your
opponent’s head but the “Our heads made contact, so I will now scream, crouch, grab
my eye, turn my back, etc. to get a break over and over again while the ref
does nothing but indulge me” routine just plain sucks. In my opinion, this is
the boxing equivalent of flopping. Can you imagine how [Michael] Jordan must
feel watching Lebron [James] flopping around like a fish out of water after a touch
foul after [Jordan] spent years getting demolished by the Pistons back in the
day? Not to get too old-school but I can't picture the fighters of my
childhood: [Marvelous Marvin] Hagler, [Sugar Ray] Leonard, [Ray] Mancini, [Thomas]
Hearns, [Roberto] Duran, etc. reacting to a headbutt by jerking their heads
back like they're trying to get a jump on a whiplash settlement.
2. HBO's Andre Ward d*ck sucking. Does he have incriminating photos of [Jim] Lampley
and [Max] Kellerman? Do they get a stipend for every compliment they give
him or perhaps if they don't hit their “Ward ass-kissing comment quota,” they
receive a pay reduction? How many times did we hear, “[Carl] Froch, who lost
decisively to Andre Ward” or words to that effect on Saturday? How about
Lampley saying, “I'm joined by Max Kellerman, who is no Larry Merchant but...”?
Froch would and should be the underdog if they fought again but he has
done better the second time around in both of his recent rematches. I would
love to see a rematch at Wembley but based on the HBO commentary, why would I
bother watching? Why should Ward fight anyone since he has no competition
anyway; right, guys? Not only did they piss all over the Froch rematch, they
basically said “GGG” would beat him as well. How about praising Froch for his
victory and perhaps building interest in watching him fight again?
Now for something positive: I loved the Froch victory. [George] Groves does
everything better on paper than Froch. Froch is just plain tougher. I
thought his win was very Micky Ward-like.
No, Brock, thank you...
Here's the latest episode of
“The Next Round” with Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly. We talk about the resignation
of Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, Froch-Groves and Cotto-Martinez:
HUMP DAY FLURRIES
Jarrod Fletcher will face
Daniel Jacobs for the vacant “regular” WBA middleweight title...The WBA made a
sound business decision here; they weren't going to lose out on Golovkin
sanctioning fees...“Game of Thrones” can be a real heartbreaker at times...I
like my Kings in seven (what else?) and the Heat in seven...Can't wait to hit
Jimmy's Corner when I hit the Big Apple...
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