By Miguel Maravilla
Photos: Gene Blevins/Top Rank
Former three division world champion Miguel Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) of Puerto Rico held a media workout Wednesday at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California. Cotto is preparing for his comeback bout against veteran and two time world title challenger Delvin Rodriguez (28-6-3, 16 KOs) of Danbury, Connecticut by way of the Domincan Republic. Cotto-Rodriguez will take placeOctober 5th live on HBO World Championship Boxing from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
“Everything is going very well I feel relaxed and in great shape,” Cotto told Fightnews.com. “I expect a good fight. I am prepared for him, this is what I have trained for,” Cotto added.
Teaming up for the first time, Cotto and Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach were on display as the two worked together demonstrating great chemistry in the newly added room downstairs at the Wild Card. The former world champion was in beast mode as ripped away on the Hall of Fame trainer’s punch mitts.
“He is doing really well,” said Roach. “I am really happy where he is at right now. We’re in our fifth week of training now with about a week and half left,” Roach told Fightnews.com. “It’s working out really well. I want him to be more aggressive and quick because that is the way I am.”
“It’s going good. We have a good chemistry going. Freddie and I have learned to communicate, thank God,” Cotto said. “The professionalism that Freddie has, the respect he has in the boxing community, that’s what I need to put my career back on track.”
Teaming up with the fifth trainer of his career, Cotto was previously trained by his uncle Evengalista Cotto, he later made a temporary move naming Joe Santiago as his trainer who was previously his nutritionist. Then he teamed up with the late Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward for two fights, then hooked up with former Cuban amateur boxing coach Pedro Diaz. Now he will be under the guidance of Freddie Roach and transitioning from the tropical climate in Puerto Rico and Florida where he has trained for previous bouts to the Southern California sun in Hollywood.
“There are less distractions here. Training camp here has gone really well. There has been great support here,” Cotto stated.
“He really works his ass off, he really works. He comes in from 5am to 8am to do strength and conditioning, then he comes in at 2PM for his boxing workout,” Roach said about Cotto’s work ethic.
This will also be Cotto’s first fight back with Top Rank. “Well you know I began originally with Top Rank, they made me the boxer I am now. I believe in them,” Cotto said.
The Puerto Rican has been out of action since December after losing a tough unanimous decision to then undefeated world champion Austin Trout. Cotto looks to get back in the squared circle as he will be making his Florida debut against Rodriguez.
“Orlando has a tremendous amount of Puerto Ricans that will be there to support. It’s the City with second highest population of Puerto Ricans,” Cotto said about fighting for the first time in Florida.
Cotto will be up against a crafty veteran in Rodriguez who has had his crack at a world title losing a split decision to Isaac Hlatshwayo back in 2009. Two years later he fought to draw against tough Pollock Pawel Wolak in a 2011 Fight of the Year candidate, then he won a unanimous decision in a rematch and came up short last year in his second world title shot against Austin Trout. The Dominican has had a stellar 2013 as he stopped previously unbeaten George Thadooahnippa in six rounds and is coming off an eight round TKO over Freddy Hernandez.
“I don’t think nothing at all of his style. I am preparing myself to be one hundred percent. Delvin Rodriguez is our next opponent and I am preparing to be the best Miguel Cotto,” Cotto commented.
“He is really awkward. He will give up his height advantage and crouch down to your height. He throws a right hook and a left hook, he doesn’t throw a straight right hand,” Roach said about Rodriguez’s style. “He throws a pretty good jab and hooks off of it well, his best punch you have to watch out for is the right uppercut…I expect Miguel Cotto to be explosive and give the fans a really good show,” Roach said.
“You will see the same Miguel Cotto, a very confident one. I am so happy and excited to be back in the ring,” Cotto concluded.
Follow me on Twitter @MigMaravilla