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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.