Prior to an utterly masterful showing against Delvin Rodríguez last October, the 33-year-old Cotto was universally outscored by decent lefty Austin Trout on December 1 at The World's Most Famous Arena.
“In his previous fight (against Austin Trout), it looked like he didn’t even show up for that fight,” said Roach, 53, who has been voted Trainer of the Year on four occasions by the BWAA. “There was something definitely wrong. He said he wasn’t motivated. When he called me, he said, ‘Freddie, I have about three more fights left in me,’ and can I help him. I said I definitely can help.”
Cotto and Roach focused on throwing more left hooks to the body versus the 33-year-old Rodríguez (28-7-3, 16 KOs).
Accordingly, the Puerto Rican icon landed 29 of his 55 blows to Rodriguez’s torso and earned a brilliant third round TKO victory.
“Our game plan for the last fight is not too different for this opponent (Martinez). His southpaw stance does give us a little bit of a different look,” said Roach. “I have some good southpaws coming in (for sparring) that fight like Martinez.”
Comparatively, the 39-year-old Martinez has been shelved since physically deteriorating last April against formidable Englishman Martin Murray.
Martinez, who controversially outscored the 31-year-old Murray (25-1-1, 11 KOs) by three counts of 115-112, suffered another right knee injury, broken left hand, and bad cut over his left eye during the clash.
Ultimately, despite manhandling Rodriguez, Cotto’s a bit shopworn and Martinez is graying and no longer the dominant force that won the 2010 “Fighter of the Year” award.
Still, a fearless aggressor, Cotto will absolutely “show up for (this) fight” versus Martinez.
However, as a blazing southpaw with a noticeable size advantage, expect Sergio Martinez to trump Miguel Cotto by a late stoppage this spring in Gotham.