Roach: KO prediction was gamesmanship


Posted at Jun 10 2014 03:27 PM | Updated as of Jun 10 2014 11:27 PM

Freddie Roach's prediction of a fourth-round knockout victory for his fighter, Miguel Cotto, was merely a show of gamesmanship by the Hall-of-Fame trainer.

Roach admitted that he wanted to get inside the heads of the members of the Sergio Martinez camp.

Roach was in Cotto's corner last weekend in New York when the Puerto Rican star put together a sterling performance against the Argentine Martinez, knocking his opponent down four times en route to a tenth round technical knockout victory.

Prior to the fight, Roach repeatedly said he expected Cotto to knock Martinez out by the fourth round, a prediction members of Team Martinez scoffed at.

"When I said we'd knock him out inside of four, I just wanted to get inside their heads a little bit," Roach admitted in a Boxing Scene interview.

Cotto came close to making his trainer's prediction came true, flooring Martinez three times in the first round alone. Martinez somehow survived the round but was never able to get his rhythm and was knocked down again in the ninth round.

He did not answer the bell for the 10th round.

Real game plan

Roach said their "real game plan" for the title fight was to "out-box" Martinez, who had not lost since 2009 but was coming off a long lay-off due to injuries on his knees.

"I thought Miguel is a better boxer than Martinez," said Roach.

"Ring generalship is pretty much a lost art in boxing and something that Eddie Futch, my trainer, really taught me well," he added. "It's just something I taught Miguel."

"We had him moving into the right hook all night long and it worked very well. He really gave the guy a boxing lesson."

Moreover, Martinez, for all his athletic ability and punching power, moved "with no plan of attack," according to Roach.

"He's just trying to use his speed, and he kind of like plays with his left hand, trying to get you to pull back so he can land the big overhand left," he noted.

They were able to neutralize Martinez's offense, however, and Roach is simply thankful that Cotto followed the game plan they put together.

"We had a great game plan. He followed it to a T," said Roach. "He's maybe one of the best students I've ever had. Thank you, Miguel, for making me look so good."