Feature Story

Roach wants Cotto disqualified if…

By Dennis Principe

Legendary trainer Freddie Roach wants one specific but stricter rule implemented in the 12-round face-off between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto. Interviewed by Fightnews at the upscale Manor Hotel, Roach said he will insist during the rules meeting that an automatic disqualification be imposed for the first intentional low blow thrown during the match. “Cotto tends to get dirty when the going gets tough in most of his fights and I don’t want that to happen. I will make sure the referee will be very strict about it,” said Roach.

One fight that Roach said saw Cotto get away with the supposed ploy was the Puerto Rican’s welterweight bout against American Zab Judah back in November 2007.

Though Cotto stopped Judah in the 11th round, the American did not easily give up and even had the Puerto Rican wobbly at times.

“Cotto stops his opponents momentum with that kind of blow. In that Judah fight he had five low blows,” said Roach.

Another issue Roach wants to bring up is the choice of the referee for the bout. The amiable trainer said he learned about seasoned referee Joe Cortez having an inside track in getting the job.

“Joe Cortez is Puerto Rican and he’s in the running as one of the referees. I don’t want him letting Cotto get away with stuff like that. We’re going to make an issue of it first,” said Roach.

Meantime Roach dismissed rumors they plan to leave earlier than expected after intermittent rains hampered this city last week.

Roach insists they will leave the country on the 24th and that despite the bad weather in the city, it has not caused any major negative effect as far as their training is concerned.

“As long as I’m seeing Manny happy there won’t be any problem. So far he’s in high spirits,” said Roach.

Friday morning Roach was able to convince Pacquiao to try swimming to make up for lost time in their road work.

Non-stop rains last weekend forced Pacquiao to work out on a thread mill, something which Roach believes would not be enough to compensate for their inability to run in the mornings.

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