Miguel Cotto could defeat Floyd Mayweather if he got the chance, according to Freddie Roach at least. Cotto has looked terrific in his last two fights, and his trainer is confident that he can compete with the best boxer in the world.
“The new Cotto, with his improved movement, would be too mobile for Floyd now and I believe he would knock him out,” Roach told the Daily Mail.
Roach’s statement comes a week after Cotto’s most recent bout. At Madison Square Garden, the 33-year-old easily defeated Sergio Martinez in an upset. He recorded four knockdowns, and Martinez’s trainer was forced to throw in the towel at the start of the 10th round.
Cotto has already faced Mayweather once in his career. He lost a unanimous decision in 12 rounds on May 5, 2012. Seven months later, Cotto was defeated by Austin Trout, and it appeared that the boxer might headed towards twilight of his career. He then turned to Roach, and has since experienced a resurgence.
Roach hyped up his fighter, heading into the bout with Martinez, even predicting an early round knockout.
“I was confident Miguel was going to beat Martinez and of course it pleases me that he’s made me look good while doing it. The way Manny (Pacquiao) does,” Roach continued.
Roach, who also trains Pacquiao, would like to see both of his boxers get a shot at Mayweather. The 37-year-old is still looking for an opponent for his Sept. 13 fight. While a Mayweather-Cotto rematch isn’t likely because of Cotto’s deal with Top Rank, it might be hard for the undefeated boxer to find a better opponent. A potential mega-fight with PacMan probably won’t ever happen, and Amir Khan won’t be ready to step inside the ring in three months.
Mayweather has acknowledged that Cotto hit hard, even saying he gave him a tougher fight than Marcos Maidana. However, Roach’s confidence might not reflect the reality of what would happen in a rematch.
Cotto may have regained his spot among the top competitors in the sport, but there might not be anyone, even Pacquiao, who could give Mayweather a real challenge. Cotto dominated Martinez, but it was the 39-year-old’s first fight in 14 months, and advancing age and injuries could force him into retirement.
The victory over Martinez helped Cotto become the first Puerto Rican to win a title in four different weight classes. Despite Cotto’s recent success, his camp realizes that a rematch with Mayweather isn’t likely in the cards.
“You got an AK?” Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said, via Boxing Scene, when he was asked if Mayweather would fight Cotto again. “I’ll hold it up to Floyd and say, ‘Will you fight Cotto again?’ Are you crazy? He’s afraid to fight Manny. You think he’d fight Cotto?”