Freddie Roach Interview on Manny Pacquiao vs Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Super Six, Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, Wager for Teddy Atlas and More! By David Tyler, DoghouseBoxing (Nov 2, 2009) Doghouse Boxing
Freddie Roach has already trained more champions and won more awards as trainer of the year than any other trainer in the storied history of boxing. To this day, he has not been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Once again, let’s welcome Freddie into the doghouse.
David Tyler - Freddie how about another quick interview?
Freddie Roach David, you are the only media person I let in for Manny’s training. I’ve let you interview my brother, Manny, Buboy, Amir Khan, and Mickey Rourke, all today. Isn’t that enough?
DT Are you serious.
FR Of course not! You’re a good friend, let’s talk, I was only kidding.
DT Thanks. I am glad we are friends. We have known each other over ten years and how many years since you have trained Manny?
FR Almost nine years now. I am getting better looking and Manny is getting better in the ring, I don’t know about you.
DT What are you most proud of in developing Manny’s skills through the years?
FR His right hand. I’ve had him work on the right hand until it’s now better than the left.
DT Last week you told me he would never get knocked down by a body shot. Why?
FR He got knocked out by a body shot once early in his career, he learned from that mistake and takes body shots very well as you have seen today.
DT As Manny has moved up in weight, have you seen any loss in his skill level?
FR No. His speed is better his power is better; I’ve only seen improvements as he has moved up the ladder.
DT You were concerned about Manny’s condition before you went to the Philippines, any concerns now?
FR No, we had a good training camp in Baguio then we arrived here in Los Angeles where he had a very good day of training. I gave him the next day off because he needed the rest. He slept for 20 hours. He has been sparring 16 rounds which I have tapered off to 12 rounds and next week we will work on some special areas where I have seen weakness in watching past Cotto fights.
DT - What have you been hearing or reading from the Cotto camp?
FR I don’t pay attention to anything I hear about his camp. I’ve watched every one of Cotto’s fights over and over again. I know him better than he knows himself at this point. I respect Cotto’s abilities but like I have said before he is just too so for us.
DT Let’s discuss speed. Cotto beat Mosley and Judah who both have speed. Compare their speed to Manny’s.
FR Different types of speed. Those guys are quick but they don’t have the power and precision that Manny Pacquiao does with his speed.
DT Fred, several times in past Pacquiao fights you have used the strategy to take out the opponent early. Will you use that strategy against Cotto?
FR 100 % Yes!
DT Fred, Cotto is a champion, a warrior, and a true Welterweight fighter. Manny began his career at 106 lbs. and Cotto is two inches taller. Any other advantages for Cotto in this fight?
FR Cotto is not two inches taller. They are a half inch apart. When you look at the pictures of them together, they look very similar in height and weight. But the thing is, Oscar was too big, Hatton was too strong, I’ve heard all those excuses before. Strength and height does not win fights, ability wins fights. Manny is a better boxer than Cotto.
DT As you have watched the video of Cotto; tell me one weakness other than his slow speed, that Manny can take advantage.
FR He is very hittable. Any fighter going up against Manny Pacquiao that is hittable will not last long.
DT We’ve talked about the “weak” moments that Cotto has when he is tagged hard by an opponent. Will that happen in this fight?
FR Of course. Unlike other fighters, Manny will recognize this and finish him off. This could happen early in the fight because Cotto will be hit early and often. In fact, I have already placed a big bet on a first round knockout.
DT Let’s talk PPV. Mayweather says he drew a million viewers against Marquez. Your thoughts.
FR Almost a million which is good. They were both good fighters and like I said before there are probably three good reasons: Many Filipinos watched to see how Manny would do against Mayweather, the Latino community supports Marquez, and some just purchased the fight to see how Mayweather would look after taking almost two years off. It was good for boxing. The fight did kill the UFC that day and that’s always a good sign. It seems that the UFC is going the other way but I like the good fights and Mayweather is such a boring fighter. He may be the best runner since Willie Pep.
DT Fred, compare the speed of Mayweather to that of Pacquiao.
FR I will tell you this, Jose Luis Castillo who fought Mayweather twice, told me that Manny is much faster and hits way harder. That was after just sparring with Manny for a couple of days.
DT I interviewed Ross Greenburg of HBO and he told me that HBO would lay their ears back and go all out to see that a Mayweather/ Pacquiao bout takes place next year if Manny wins the fight.
FR It’s a fight the whole world wants to see. It would be the biggest sporting event ever! It will be bigger than any other sporting event ever! That’s all I’m asked where ever I go across the globe. When will we get to see Manny fight Mayweather?
DT Any obstacles making this event happen?
FR Yeah, Mayweather. He doesn’t want to fight us and will negotiate himself out of the deal. He wants to leave the sport undefeated and fighting Manny will be a risk that he just doesn’t want to take. The fight will have to be no less than a 50:50 split, but Mayweather thinks he is going to get more than Manny Pacquiao? Manny is the most popular fighter in the world, come on!
DT Fred, I believe on a global basis that Manny is the top guy in this business. I would also have to think that Manny’s fight with Cotto will draw more PPV buys than the boring Mayweather/ Marquez event.
FR- I agree, the thing is that since Mayweather doesn’t want to fight Manny he will use his million viewers and say he wants 65% of the purse. His excuse for not taking the fight will be that they are not paying me enough money. He just doesn’t want that loss on his record.
DT You trained Oscar De La Hoya to a split decision loss against Mayweather, one of the great achievements in boxing since Oscar was way past his prime. What weakness did you see in Mayweather that allowed Oscar to come so close to beating Mayweather?
FR You will see if Manny fights Mayweather. I don’t want to give away all my secrets. Floyd Jr. is a great fighter and I like him a lot. He is a great defensive fighter and a very good counter puncher. His trainer is a piece of @#$%$ and no comment on his Dad.
DT Let’s just say that the fight with Mayweather does take place. Who will be the favorite?
FR Even money.
DT Fred, in the almost nine years that you have trained Manny, he has not fought a fighter who didn’t want to fight. Mayweather will not stand toe to toe with Manny. How do you train Manny to fight him?
FR When Mayweather goes to the rope and gives you that shoulder you take what he gives. He leans back against the ropes he is giving you his body, take it. Oscar had him on the ropes and did well but Oscar didn’t have power shots. Manny will get him against the ropes and go for power shots. That’s what he does well. Of course the big advantage will be the powerful body shots that Manny will most certainly land against him. That’s really the secret, beat up the body.
DT Back to Cotto. Will he have any advantage with the extra moths training preparing for this fight?
FR No, because he really wasn’t in training that first month. He had to work on getting his weight down the first month. However, it will be a good excuse when he losses the fight. His group will say they over trained for the fight.
DT Is there any clause in his contract that if he comes in over 145 lbs. he has to pay Manny additional money?
FR He can weigh whatever he wants. Manny will kick his butt at any weight.
DT No concern if he weighs 148 lbs. and 15 lbs. more on fight night?
FR Come on, he has an amateur trainer, amateur team, Joe Chavez is a good guy, a good cutman, which Cotto will certainly need for this fight. When the fighter becomes the boss, it’s a bad situation and that’s the situation over there, Cotto calls all the shots.
DT Have they announced who the referee will be for the Cotto fight?
FR Kenny Bayless will be the third man in the ring.
DT That’s going to be important because we have all seen Cotto “accidentally” flip a man over, “accidentally” hit behind the head, and “accidentally” hit south of the border.
FR I am well aware of Cotto’s patterns when he is in trouble. Kenny Bayless will certainly be taking a close look at those kinds of tactics if Cotto goes there but then again, he won’t be able to go there because Manny is just too fast for Cotto to play those kinds of games without getting seriously hurt.
DT Fred you have told the readers that Manny has expressed his desire for three more big fights before he hangs up the gloves.
FR I know I have said that but maybe Manny will change his mind. He is only fighting big money fights and when you are at that level you have a limited time to take advantage of the situation.
DT If you could choose his last three, who would they be?
FR Cotto, Mayweather, and finish with a knockout of Marquez.
DT We’re changing lanes again. Did you watch the first two fights of the Super Six Middleweight tournament?
FR No, I was in the Philippines and we did not have cable. I did hear that Arthur Abraham scored a vicious knockout.
DT I believe that will turn out to be a showcase for King Arthur Abraham. Your thoughts?
FR The winner of the Kessler/ Ward fight will win the finals.
DT You must be kidding! King Arthur all the way!
FR A hundred bucks says you are wrong!
DT You can have the other five fighters and I will take King Arthur Abraham for a hundred bucks provided that the money goes to the Dr. Teddy Atlas foundation.
FR Everyone here is a witness, one hundred bucks.
DT Fred, think you for never refusing me an interview over the last 10 years that we have known each other.
FR Anytime, you are always a welcomed member of the WildCard family.
Readers: Freddie let the cats out of the bag. You now have a hint about the interviews I will be writing in the upcoming two weeks prior to the Manny Pacquiao/ Miguel Cotto bout. Stay tuned to doghouse boxing.
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