Trainer Freddie Roach said that Miguel Cotto will be in "a must-win situation" in his junior middleweight bout with Delvin Rodriguez on Oct. 5. To that end, the three-division titlewinner will be looking to display a busier approach and an improved body attack, according to Roach.
Cotto, who turns 32 on Oct. 29, was trained by Pedro Diaz for his past three bouts — losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout last year, and a 10th-round knockout over Antonio Margarito in 2011.
He'll face Rodriguez (28-6-3, 16 KOs), a 33-year-old winner of two straight by knockout since falling by unanimous decision to Trout in June of 2012, at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., with the fight being broadcast on HBO.
"We are in a must-win situation for sure. That’s why we are working so hard and we are working well together. We start conditioning work every morning at 5 a.m.and that ends at 8 a.m.," said Roach, who is training Cotto at his Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.
"That leaves Miguel a little time to rest then we come back to the gym at 2 p.m. From 2-to-4, we are sparring or working with the mitts. We do about nine rounds every day. We are working real hard and we know what the situation is."
Roach was in the corner opposite Cotto (37-4, 30 KOs) in November of 2009, when he guided Manny Pacquiao to a 12th-round knockout victory that dethroned Cotto as WBO welterweight beltholder.
Although he ended Cotto's streak of three straight knockout victories, Mayweather emerged with a bloody nose from the most physical fights of his illustrious career. Cotto was last in the ring, however, against Trout.
"I watched the Trout fight and we talked about why he thought he lost that fight. He thought he wasn’t busy enough and I want to bring back that work to the body – his bread and butter," said Roach.
"That’s what got him to where he is today. I am not going to change him, of course, because he is a great fighter as he is. We just need a reminder of the fundamentals of boxing."
Roach and Cotto were together as they watched Saturday's unanimous decision by Mayweather over Canelo Alvarez on Showtime Pay Per View, and Roach believes Cotto performed better against Mayweather than Alvarez did.
"I feel that I can fight against the best at any time," said Cotto, who has been mentioned by Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer as a potential rival for Alvarez in the future. "I just made the fight with Mayweather last year. I made that fight. I fought that fight and then I fight the next fight."
BEING MIKE TYSON DEBUTS ON SUNDAY ON FOX
The first episode of Being Mike Tyson, a six-part documentary about the former undisputed heavyweight champion, will debut on Sunday on Fox [check your local listings.]
The second episode of Being Mike Tyson features a reunion with four-time heavyweight titlewinner Evander Holyfield, whose disqualification victory over Tyson in their second meeting in June of 1997 was the result of Tyson's twice biting Holyfield's ear.
A 47-year-old who retired with a record of 50-6 (44 KOs), Tyson is a Las Vegas resident who has reinvented himself, taking to the stage as the star of a one-man autobiographical show.
Once dubbed "the baddest man on the planet" and the youngest man — at age 20 — to become heavyweight champion, Tyson was last in the ring for a sixth-round knockout loss to Kevin McBride in June of 2005.
JESSIE VARGAS TO RETURN ON OCT. 11 AGAINST RAY NARH
Jessie Vargas (22-0, 9 KOs) will return to the ring on Oct. 11 against Brooklyn's Ray Narh (26-3, 21 KOs) in a clash that will be televised on UniMas from The Thomas and Mack Center in Vargas' home town of Las Vegas.
In his last fight in March, Vargas rose from a second-round knockdown to defeat previously unbeaten Wale Omotoso.