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  Star Trainers Robles, Diaz & Shields
View The Pandemic "From The Corner"

Star trainers Manny Robles, Joel Diaz and Ronnie Shields join Chris Mannix in the latest episode of Matchroom Boxingís YouTube show with trainers viewing the sport and the COVID-19 pandemic ĎFrom The Cornerí.

All three trainers have bustling stables of elite fighters and rising stars, and they are eagerly waiting for the go-ahead to prime their fighters to return with a bang, but first, Robles was asked about his old charge, former World Heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz.

Robles: Iíve never had to depend on one boxer, I have a good stable of fighters and Iím lucky to be able to do what I do which is coach and be in boxing. I wish Andy nothing but the best, I understand heís now training with Eddy Reynoso, I think thatís a good choice for Andy.

Bottom line is that itís down to the fighter and heís got to want it. Again, itís down to accountability - fighters have to hold themselves accountable. We as coaches get them ready, train them and prepare them mentally and physically but if the fighter isnít there what can you do? A fighter has to want it, and Andy has everything to get back into title contention again.

I said before the June fight with Anthony Joshua that he had what it took to be champion when no-one believed me, and I wasnít wrong. Unfortunately, after June 1 everything changed, he was a different person overnight.

On sparring:

Robles: How else will you get ready for a fight without sparring? Itís impossible. We have to rely on each other to be responsible, that everyone is staying safe and taking the necessary precautions and donít end up getting sick. Thatís all we can really do, hold yourself accountable and be responsible.

Iím working with four or five guys right now and I spread their training out. Iíve got other fighters that I communicate with and see how they are holding up and everyone is eager to get back to fighting.

Diaz: You can improvise sparring with mitt work. You have to simulate the opponent that you are coming up against with the mitts. My guys are together in the camp house and as a trainer, not only am I training them, but I am reminding them that they can only go home and go to the gym and the supermarket, wash their hands and wear their masks. My boys have been sparring because they have been living together, so thatís not a problem for the guys I have here, but I have no dates, no fights.

On fighting without fans:

Diaz: Weíre going through a pandemic and we have to make adjustments. Every fighter has probably boxed on an undercard with no fans at one point, Iíve had fighters box at 1am in front of one guy and the cleaners! Iíve heard from fighters recently say, ĎI donít want to fight if thereís no fansí but then hear fighters say, ĎI donít care about the fans, boxing is my source of income, I need to bring the bread home!í

Do you want the fans, or do you want to bring food to the table? Based on the situation we are in; boxing is my source of income. People were sort of stuck watching UFC because there was a nothing else on and the ratings were high because everyone was watching. The fighters have to prepare mentally to do the same and say, ĎI am going to go to workí and perform, or do you need the cheers of the crowd to hype you up?

Robles: Fighters will fight anywhere in the world; you just have to adapt. This is what we do, it shouldnít come as a shock, itís just being able to adapt to the circumstances.

Shields: Weíre going to have to come back without fans, and itís not going to be much different really, itíll be like being in the gym. A lot of times in the gym you only have a few people watching you spar, so itíll be a bit like that, but itís the real deal. You have to prepare yourself mentally, but once you get in there, itís not going to make a difference if you have a crowd or not, because that guy in front of you is trying to knock your head off and you have to concentrate on whatís in front of you and not what is in the audience.

On remote judging and corners:

Robles: Itís a complicated situation, I think the judges have to be there live, they arenít close to the fighters. There are certain things that you canít change. I got a call to say that there may only be two in the corner - coach and cutman - itís difficult for two to do the corner, you need at least three and maybe four.

Shields: Thereís no way it can happen. Suppose the internet goes, or the electricity goes? Anything can happen. Judges have a hard job as it is doing it live. They have to be there.

Diaz: Iím not with that. You see a different fight on TV or on a monitor than you do watching it live.

On Jermall Charlo vs. Demetrius Andrade

Shields: Itís not up to me, I donít pick fights. That comes from the management, they strategize on who this and that guy is going to fight, then they come to me. To build a guy to become a World champion is one of the hardest things to do, and once they get there, you want to make sure that they get the best fights available to them. Our main goal now is Canelo, like everyone in the division, heís the best and he brings the money. I like Demetrius, heís a good fighter, but itís not up to me to make the fights.

I spoke to Jermall and he said he just wants to get back to his sport and heís anxious to go. These guys are ready. Jermall has a gym at his house but it gets boring when you are just doing a workout by yourself. He doesnít care about not having fans there, he just wants to defend his title and he doesnít want to sit out too much longer.


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