Boxing


Freddie Roach Concerned Cotto Will Fight Dirty Vs. Pacquiao, Will Demand Strict Refereeing

by James Slater - Ace trainer Freddie Roach has admitted he is somewhat concerned Miguel Cotto may resort to dirty tactics when the going gets tough in the eagerly awaited November 14th fight between the Puerto Rican and pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao. The trainer of "Pac-Man" has come out and said how Cotto has in the past used low blows to his advantage - a case in point being his win over Zab Judah back in 2007, when Cotto was docked a point for landing low punches.

Of course, Cotto denies being a dirty fighter, and it's likely many fans will agree with him and claim Roach is complaining over nothing. But Freddie is simply looking out for his fighter, and he said, in an interview with The Philippine Daily Enquirer, that he will demand strict and fair refereeing takes place in Las Vegas next month..

"Cotto tends to get dirty when the going gets tough in most of his fights and I don't want that to happen," Roach told the publication. "I will make sure the referee will be very strict about it. Cotto stops his opponents' momentum with that kind of blow. In that [Zab] Judah fight he had five low blows."

Cotto will no doubt be very angry when he hears what Roach has had to say, but he may also see Freddie's concern as a sign that Team-Pacquiao are apprehensive about just how difficult and tough a fight the Filipino superstar will get on November 14th.

Roach went further, and was openly worried about the possibly biased approach referee Joe Cortez (a frontrunner to land the job in November) may show towards Cotto - "Fair But Firm" being Puerto Rican himself of course.

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

Hopefully, Roach's anxiety will prove unnecessary. We all want to see a fair fight next month, and in all likelihood this will be what we get. Cotto may have thrown some low blows in his time, but what fighter hasn't? And remember, before Pacquiao's fight with Ricky Hatton, Roach said he was concerned about how Ricky may use his shoulders and his elbows to gain the upper hand. In the end, there turned out to be no cause for any concern. Okay, Pacquiao flattened Hatton quickly, thereby perhaps preventing "The Hitman" from resorting to dirty tactics, but it's doubtful Hatton would have gone down that road anyway. And Cotto shouldn't either.

You can't fault Roach for looking out for his fighter, but moaning about possible low blows weeks before the fight is perhaps going too far.

Article posted on 11.10.2009



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