By Jeff Newman: Trainer Freddie Roach sees his fighter Miguel Cotto (38-4, 31 KO’s) as having plenty of oppotunties to land his big body shots against WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KO’s) each time Sergio goes to the ropes in their fight next Saturday night on HBO from Madison Square Garden in New York.
Roach has noticed that Sergio likes to retreat to the ropes and cover up at times, and Roach thinks this will give Cotto ample opportunity to attack the 38-year-old Martinez to the body with big hooks.
“I try to duplicate a lot of what the opponents do. He (Martinez) likes to rest on the ropes with his hands up high and when he does that of course the body shots are right there,” Roach said. “I feel that is the key to this fight, if you break the body down the head will fall.”
The times that Martinez backs up to the ropes to try and fight it out likely won’t be that plentiful for Cotto to make an entire fight of it. I hope Roach has some other ideas in how to get to Martinez other than waiting for him to back up to the ropes all night, because he might not do it enough times for Cotto do win rounds or have any real impact in the fight.
If Martinez is backing up to the ropes once or twice power rounds, it’s not going to make much of a difference in the fight unless Cotto can knock him out from that point. If not, then Cotto is going to be taking a real pounding for 2 ½ minutes of every round, and he doesn’t have the kind of skin that takes punishment well. He swells up around the eyes, and cuts up over his eyes.
There’s a lot of scar tissue around Cotto’s eyes from his previous beatings he’s taken during his career, and it’s quite likely that Sergio will be able to open up a cut due to that presence of scar tissue.
Cotto needs to land his shots to the body of Sergio for him to have a chance to win the fight, but he’s going to need to cut off the ring and pressure him the entire fight in order to get close enough to land his shots. That means Cotto is going to need to take a lot of shots in order to get close enough to land his own punches each time.