Everybody loves winning. The feeling after a goal is identified, a skill set is nurtured, a game plan is devised, and a victory is achieved is truly one of a kind. This past weekend, trainer Ronnie Shields had that experience three times over as the 154 lb. Charlo brothers, Jermall and Jermell, along with tough and rugged middleweight, Brian Vera walked off the ring each with one more win in the left column.
You’d think that a weekend like that might get old for a trainer that has worked with the likes of Mike Tyson, Juan Diaz, Pernell Whitaker, and Evander Holyfield. Or that some of the luster wanes and pressure subsides once the BWAA recognizes you with one of their highest honors, their coveted Trainer of the Year award.
In talking to Shields, however, even after all of these years you can still see the care with which he handles his profession and his excitement about starting a new chapter in his career; this being partnering up with renowned training organization Plex to further refine his product and stable. “We’ve been undefeated since we transitioned over to Plex,” stated Shields in an interview on Tha Boxing Voice Radio. “The guys get the best of both worlds as far as condition and boxing. It’s working out great. We’re doing things that haven’t been seen in the boxing world before.” You can almost hear the smile over the phone as he shares this.
Training with him at Plex are current top contenders Erislandy Lara and Edwin Rodriguez. The former fought to a frustrating technical draw against Vanes Martirosyan last November and awaits another “shot at a shot” to “sort of-maybe” be considered for a world title match (talk to Golden Boy and the WBC about that one). He believes that Lara has what it takes to reach the top and explains what went down against Vanes. “In that fight, Lara’s hand got injured in the first round. When I took his glove off [after the fight], it was so swelled up that he couldn’t even make a fist. So he basically fought Vanes with one hand and he was still winning the fight.”
During the interview, he also issued a fair warning to people underrating the Cuban, namely the flashy up and comer Demetrius Andrade who hasn’t been shy about calling out his fighter. States Shields, “[Andrade] fought Lara in the amateurs and, of course, [Andrade] lost. He’s a good fighter and I respect him a lot but this is not the amateur game anymore. This is the pros. If he feels that he wants to step up, his manager knows what to do.”
In addition to Lara and Rodriguez, Shields proudly trains a handful of up and coming prospects that he believes will become household names before long. Though his stable is deep, Jermell Charlo is the one that he seems to be the most excited about. “I would put him up against any of the people that Canelo has fought up to this point but I don’t want to rush him” said Shields confidently. When asked about the criticism he is receiving from boxing media about bringing Charlo up the ranks too slowly he exclaimed “There are a lot of fights that I’ve turned down for Charlo. I’m putting him in fights right now that will put him in the best position for when he gets to the top, he’ll be there for a very long time.”
It’s tough to doubt a man with a resume like Ronnie Shields’ but only time will tell whether or not this proves to be true. What is for certain is that Shields, with his undying focus on young fighter development, and the excitement surrounding his new venture, will be under the lights in many corners for many years to come.
For Audio of this interview click here: http://thaboxingvoice.cogito24.com/ronnie-shields-george-comanche-boy-daniel-geale-on-tha-boxingvoice-radio-t-v-2/9254