Cotto seeks Puerto Rico first in title bout vs Martinez

Thu Jun 5, 2014 2:27pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Miguel Cotto hopes to benefit from the "Roach factor" when he tries to become Puerto Rico's first four-division champion against world middleweight champ Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

After a bitter 2012 in which he lost championship decisions to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout, Cotto joined forces with renowned trainer Freddie Roach and believes he is poised to take the WBC middleweight crown from Argentina's Martinez.

"This is the best training camp I ever had," Cotto, 33, said about his partnership with Roach. "Our chemistry together has been great."

The hard-hitting Cotto said fighting for the 160-pound crown should not be a problem for him.

"I am a puncher," said Cotto, who has a record of 38-4 with 31 knockouts but has never fought above 154 pounds. "I carry my punch to 160. I’ll carry my punch no matter where my weight is."

One of Cotto's defeats came in 2009 when he was stopped in the 12th round by Manny Pacquiao, who is trained by Roach.

Roach said that experience had helped him prepare Cotto.

"Working with Manny against Cotto taught me what his weaknesses were. We were able to shore up those ills," said Roach, who said he worked on the fighter's ring generalship and predicted Cotto would knock Martinez out in four rounds.   Continued...

World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight champion Sergio Martinez of Argentina (R) poses with three-division world champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico during a press conference at Madison Square Garden in New York March 11, 2014.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton