(transcribed by Michael Readman) Hall Of Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach has a busy schedule ahead of him, as he has two superstars with pivotal fights to their careers coming up. His main fighter, Manny Pacquiao, has his highly anticipated rematch with Timothy Bradley in just a few weeks, to which this article http://www.topbettingreviews.com/boxing/sportsbooks-heating-up-with-the-return-of-pacquiao-mayweather/ states that Pacquiao is once again favorite win. Roach also trains Puerto Rican superstar, Miguel Cotto, who has potentially one of his toughest fights in his career, as he faces off against middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. But if there is ever a trainer the can handle a hectic training schedule, it is Freddie Roach.
In part 2 of my interview with Freddie, I discuss with him the career options for Pacquiao if he is able to win his rematch with Timothy Bradley, and what direction he thinks Pacquiao will take if he loses. I also talk with Freddie about his other star fighters, Zou Shiming who is recently coming off a KO win, and Miguel Cotto who has been matched with Sergio Martinez. Additionally I get Roach’s thoughts on how he thinks a Cotto-Martinez fight plays out and if he thinks the middleweight title is a bargaining chip that could bring a Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto rematch. Here is what Freddie Roach had to say.
Jenna J: Freddie, it was recently announced that the winner of Marquez vs. Alvarado will get Manny Pacquiao in his next fight. Is it something that you’re looking forward to, closing that chapter with Marquez?
Freddie Roach: Well to be honest with you I’m not even thinking about that fight, I’m thinking about Bradley at this point. There is no future fight right now, we don’t have a two fight contract, we have one fight and that’s what’s in front of us and that’s what we have to take care of.
Jenna J: Freddie, I’m sure it gets to this point now with every fight, if Manny has another loss or if another KO comes then you will be looking more towards the retirement angle. Do you feel that if he loses again or he gets knocked out, then that would be the place he would be looking?
Freddie Roach: Well you know, I’m not even thinking about that. Manny’s doing really well but this guys not a big puncher, I don’t see a knockout by him coming at all and Manny’s in great shape. I’m being very positive, he’s not gonna lose to Tim Bradley for sure.
Jenna J: We recently saw you back in the ring with Zou Shiming, he scored a knockout for the first time in his career. How do you evaluate his growth so far as a fighter?
Freddie Roach: Shiming’s coming along very well, we worked very hard for that fight and he did spar with Pacquiao in the last training camp and he likes watching Manny, that’s why it’s a good training camp.
He asked me if he can train right before Manny, so he can watch Manny train afterwards because he likes to learn off of Pacquiao. He is becoming a better professional fighter, he was a great amateur fighter but he’s learned the pro style now and I don’t think it will be long before he fights in a title fight.
Jenna J: Realistically how many more fights does he need before you believe he is not just ready to get a title fight, but win it?
Freddie Roach: I would say about two fights with Shiming, he’s thirty two years old and we’re on a fast track with him. He has a lot of amateur experience of course, he does have ability, he’s a good fighter.
Just molding him into how to fight twelve round fights is the key right now, getting him to pace himself a little more and not just go out there full glory because in twelve round fights you need to pace yourself somewhat.
Jenna J: Freddie, it’s been announced that Miguel Cotto will be taking on Sergio Martinez, fighting for the middleweight title. How do you feel about Miguel getting that opportunity and how do you think he will adjust to the weight?
Freddie Roach: Well, the weight shouldn’t be a problem. I think we’ll probably come in a little bit light because I like Miguel at a lighter weight, but we will put a little more muscle on him for that fight.
Miguel starts training the last week of Manny’s camp here in LA will be his first week, and they will work together but they won’t spar together because I think Manny will be too close to his fight by then and style wise it doesn’t really help Manny but it would help Miguel.
They both will be in Vegas for the last five days; we’ll leave Monday after sparring. They’re both good friends, they work together and it’s good support for the camp.
Jenna J: How do you think that fight between Martinez and Cotto will go? There are a lot of people saying Martinez has seen better days. Do you think this is the right time for Cotto to be taking this fight?
Freddie Roach: It’s a big chance for him to win four world titles and be the first Puerto Rican to do that, to win four titles in four different weight divisions and that’s something he’s looking forward to. Cotto is a very disciplined person, a very disciplined worker. He trains really very dedicated and our training camp will be great.
We’re getting the best sparring partners that I can for that fight — fast southpaws are a little difficult to find but we’ve been in touch with a couple of guys. Nobody for sure yet but by the time the camp and sparring does start, we will have the best sparring partners we can get.
Jenna J: Freddie, if Cotto can get that middleweight title, that’s a very big bargaining chip. Do you see him possibly getting a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. if he gets that belt from Martinez?
Freddie Roach: Yeah that’s definitely a possibility. I actually think he could win that fight and it’s a good fight for him. (Saul) Alvarez is out there also and that’s a big name also and everyone’s making a lot of noise about him, and that’s definitely a future fight for Miguel. Either one would be fine with me, I would welcome both guys.