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Q&A with Cotto’s Fitness Coach Phil Landman

Miguel Cotto added a new team member before his win against Carlos Quintana. It was Phil Landman, a fitness expert from South Africa based in Los Angeles. Landman’s positive effect on Cotto’s conditioning and strength in the KO win over Quintana were more than obvious and Landman has been working with Cotto ever since.

Phil Landman, 37, will be departing to Puerto Rico/Florida shortly to help the Puerto Rican superstar get ready for the November Las Vegas superfight against Manny Pacquiao. spoke with Landman about Team Cotto’s next assignment and more… Are there concerns on your part about Miguel having to make 143 or 145 for Pacquiao? How will you accomplish the lower weight limit?

Phil Landman: I have no concerns with the weight limit for the upcoming fight. Miguel has weighed in at 146 previously with no problems. We stay focused on what we have to do, we have our goals and we will make the necessary minor adjustments in training and diet to come in at the required weight. Some pundits think Miguel had a fantastic performance – one of his best – in his last fight against a very dangerous and avoided fighter in Clottey. While on the flip side, some think they saw decline in Miguel vs. Clottey, attributing that decline to the Margarito fight. What’s your take?

Phil Landman: Miguel is an amazing athlete. He is very focused and gives 100% in his training and approach to his fights. People probably like to look for a story, I’m not sure some if his critics fully realize the severity of the cut he incurred over his eye – and it was early on in the fight. He fought a tough opponent with a huge handicap and through shear determination, deservedly, won the fight. What are some of the foods Miguel eats a lot of during training camp, what are some of his favorite camp meals?

Phil Landman: Miguel eats really well, lots of the good foods needed to assist him in his preparation. He also is a great cook. As a result I could not say what may be his favorite meal during camp, but more a good variety, combination and balance of foods, including meals common to the Puerto Rican diet. Does Miguel spend a lot of time studying videos of his opponents? And you have watched Manny Pacquiao fight. Will you make any changes to the fitness regimen for Miguel to adapt to Pacquiao’s strengths?

Phil Landman: Studying the opponent is all part of the preparation and Miguel does watch some of his opponent’s fights. As far as my work is concerned, changes are made where needed, not only to address the specific opponent but also to address specific areas of fitness we want to work on. Phil, can you talk about your education background and expertise.

Phil Landman: I am certified through NCCPT and continuing my education with the International Sports Science Association. My education is a continually evolving process as is the nature of the industry, I don’t limit myself to just these but on various organizations, their research, ideas and the continual progression in nutrition and training techniques. I feel I benefit largely from my hands on approach, having competed in various sports (and continue to do so) at very competitive levels since my teenage years, always with a very keen interest in nutrition, training techniques and recovery. This has really helped me to understand the demands of the training and recognize the limits of the athlete and optimize the effectiveness of training sessions – I work with Miguel on his strength and conditioning. I am not certified in nutrition, it is part of my continued education, I do receive assistance form certified nutritionists, when required. Please tell the story of how you first begin to work with Miguel Cotto?

Phil Landman: I work with Jon Jon Park out of his gym in LA. Top Rank approached him and I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity. I began work with Miguel when he moved to the 147-pound welterweight division with his first fight against Carlos Quintana. Since then we have had eight more fights together and a ninth approaching with his match-up against Pacquiao.

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