Cotto content with Roach in corner


Nobody could remember the last time Miguel Cotto looked so happy.

But there he was Friday at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant inside the MGM Grand, smiling and talking with reporters about his June 7 fight with Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden in New York and seemingly at peace with the world.

Cotto (38-4, 31 knockouts) is a three-time world champion who hopes to add the World Boxing Council middleweight title to his dossier with a win over Martinez, the reigning champ who is 51-2-2 with 28 KOs.

‘Everything in my life is great right now,” Cotto said. “Training with Freddie Roach has been great for my career. It is the best thing I’ve done in the last three, four years.”

Roach, who also trains Manny Pacquiao, the man who knocked out Cotto in 2009, said he has a willing participant in Cotto, who defeated Delvin Rodriguez on Oct. 5 with Roach in his corner.

“He’s a future Hall of Famer, and I didn’t need to change a whole lot,” Roach said. “We’ve got him going to the body more like he did when he was younger, and we’ve mixed in a few other things. Basically, we want him to be the Cotto from early in his career.”

Cotto, 33, said he has no problem sharing Roach with Pacquiao and the other fighters at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, Calif., where Roach is headquartered.

“Freddie is professional,” Cotto said. “He has time for Manny, and he has time for me. It’s good being around a boxer like Manny Pacquiao. Watching him train, it makes me work harder.”

Cotto said fighting in New York on the same weekend as the city’s annual Puerto Rico Day Parade makes it extra special.

“Being in Madison Square Garden the day before the parade means so much to me,” said Cotto, who will be making his sixth appearance in New York in conjunction with parade weekend. “I have always had great support in New York, and I know a lot of crazy Puerto Ricans are going to be there.”

Cotto is confident he will come out victorious on the HBO Pay Per View card.

“Martinez is a great boxer, but he picked the wrong fight,” Cotto said.

■ DIEGO’S NEXT FIGHT — Las Vegas super featherweight Diego Magdaleno will return to the ring against Chile’s Oscar Bravo (21-3, nine KOs) on May 17 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The fight is on the undercard of the Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado main event.

Initially, the plan was for Magdaleno (25-1, 10 KOs) to fight May 17 in Fresno, Calif., in the co-feature of a card that 2012 U.S. Olympian Jose Ramirez will headline. But Magdaleno’s manager, Frank Espinoza, got his fighter on the higher-profile Marquez-Alvarado card.

“Isn’t that going to be awesome?” Magdaleno said Friday. “For me to be on that card is pretty bad-ass.

“We’re creating a fan base for me in Southern California, so being part of the first fight card at the new Forum is big.”

Magdaleno said his younger brother Jessie will see a doctor this week to have his tonsils removed. Jessie Magdaleno, a super bantamweight who is 18-0 with 14 KOs, was to fight on last Friday’s Top Rank card at Mandalay Bay but got sick two weeks ago and was removed from it.

Espinoza, who also manages Jessie Magdaleno, said he wasn’t sure when the super bantamweight would fight again.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.

 

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