LAS VEGAS -- Trainer Freddie Roach has never been too worried about looking ahead to his fighter’s next fight.
Roach, of course, knows that his man, middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, faces a tough fight against former unified junior middleweight titlist Canelo Alvarez on Saturday night (HBO PPV, 9 ET) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) is a decade younger than the 35-year-old Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs), a naturally bigger man and many believe the stronger puncher. Most expect an intense and competive action-packed fight, one of the reasons it is the year’s most anticipated bout other than the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao match from May.
But Roach has an ideal scenario and had no problem sharing it with a few reporters during a sitdown just before the final formal Cotto-Alvarez news conference commenced Wednesday afternoon.
“I would love for [Cotto] to win this fight by knockout, call out [Floyd] Mayweather and then end it,” Roach said. “He always tells me ‘If I had you in my corner when I fought him I would have knocked him out.’ He tells me that story all the time.”
In May 2012, Cotto had a chance against Mayweather and gave him a stern test in one of Mayweather’s more crowd-pleasing fights. Ultimately, Mayweather won a unanimous decision and took Cotto’s junior middleweight world title. But when it was over Mayweather surely knew he had been in a real fight. The fight was also a commercial success, selling about 1.5 million pay-per-views, lending credibility to a rematch.
A rematch might make a lot of sense should Cotto beat Alvarez and should Mayweather come out of retirement, as most expect he will at some point in order to go for a 50-0 record.
Mayweather retired in September after easily outpointing Andre Berto, but in his previous fight Roach was in the losing corner when Mayweather won a clear decision against Pacquiao.
But Roach thinks Cotto, whom he started training in 2013, could pull off the upset in a rematch.
“I think [Cotto] could pull off the strategy I had [for Pacquiao], but I think Manny was maybe a little bit smaller and not as strong as Miguel [when he faced Mayweather],” Roach said. “[Cotto] is a bigger, stronger guy and I think it would be a good fight for him. I think I can put him in a very aggressive mode for that fight. He always tells me, ‘I would have killed him, Freddie, with [your] game plan.”
Cotto, who joined the sitdown with reporters as Roach was finishing, was asked what he thought about Roach’s dream scenario.
“I don’t know what is going to happen. I’m here to fight,” Cotto said. “If he decided to come back, I’m here.”