Connect with us

Featured Articles

Prominent Trainer Ronnie Shields Reflects on a Life in Boxing

Kelsey McCarson

Published

on

Shields

Ronnie Shields never thought boxing would be his life.

After a stalwart amateur career consisting of over 260 bouts and 33 professional fights, Shields called it quits in 1988 only to be called into action to work the pads as a trainer for various boxers in Houston that he called friends.

Shields (pictured with junior middleweight title-holder Erislandy Lara) had always loved working with other fighters, even when he was a fighter himself.

“When I was an amateur fighter we had like 35 fighters and only five coaches. So what they used to do is make us do pads with each other. I really liked doing that. We had to work each other’s corners.”

In the professional ranks, nothing changed.

“Even when I turned pro, I was helping guys out and making game plans and stuff like that. I’ve always done it.”

But when Shields stopped fighting after a unanimous decision loss to William Releford in 1988, he thought his time in the sport was over. He didn’t even bother to talk to anyone about his decision. The final fights of his career were just too painful. He had too many injuries. He couldn’t throw a good jab anymore. He needed cortisone injections just to make it to the ring for his last ten fights.

“I didn’t consult with anybody but myself.”

Shields went out to get a job like regular people do but his friends just kept calling him to work the pads. One day, Lou Duva came to visit Willie Savannah’s gym in Houston. He saw Shields working the pads with various fighters and asked him if he’d like to come work with his stable of fighters at Main Events, including Evander Holyfield and Mark Breland. Shields was surprised at the offer but remained undeterred.

“I said nah, I’ll just get me a job.”

But persistence paid off. Duva was back a month later with the same offer. Perhaps seeing the work of fate in his life, Shields decided to give it a go.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to do this for the rest of my life, but I decided to try it.”

The first day Shields was sent to work eight rounds of pads with then heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. Holyfield loved the way the two worked together. The champ told Shields it was exactly the kind of thing he needed to be ready for his next fight. Soon, other fighters were getting in on what Shields had to offer.

“I must of done 50 rounds of pads that day. It just stuck.”

The rest is history. Shields knows his life is boxing now. He said he’s happy with the decision he made back in 1988 to retire and even happier to have accepted Duva’s offer to help train his fighters.

“I know this is my life now. There’s nothing else.”

Shields’ first go at being lead trainer was with Vernon Forrest back in 1989. Forrest was good friends with Holyfield and came to the gym one day to spar stable mate Pernell Whitaker.

“Holyfield asked me to do the pads with [Forrest]. We became tight, and he called me up and asked me to be his trainer.”

Today, Shields’ stable of fighters at Plex boxing gym in Houston includes Lara, who risks his world title against undefeated Terrell Gausha at Barclays Center on Oct. 14, and middleweight contender Jermall Charlo, who recently vacated his junior middleweight crown to move up in weight to 160.

What started as just some pad work with random fighters at a boxing gym turned into Shields lifetime legacy. He was the World Boxing Hall of Fame’s Trainer of the Year in 2003. Today he is one of the most well-known trainers in boxing.

Shields said his time as a professional fighter helps him know what to do for his fighters and how best to be his fighters’ advocate.

 I remember that like it was yesterday,” said Shields about his first loss in 1981. “It shouldn’t have been a loss. We went to Mexico City. My manager was good friends with this guy he knew…so they decided to go to Mexico City.”

The decision turned into an unwinnable fight in the suffocating altitude of Mexico City.

“We didn’t know how high the attitude was. We figured a week was good to go and get acclimated but the first time we ran I almost died.”

Undefeated at the time, Shields remembers how quickly his body fell apart as the rounds of the fight progressed. If only he had an advocate like he’s become for his fighters. Shields said he would never bring a fighter to such high altitude without going down two or three weeks early to acclimate.

“It was crazy. I remember in the fight, the first round I almost stopped the guy. In the second round, the same thing [happened]. I was killing this dude.”

The referee was about the stop the fight, but he let the Mexican fighter continue.

“In the fourth round, I couldn’t breathe at all. I was sucking air. I couldn’t do nothing. I went back to the corner and said I couldn’t breathe so we stopped it in between rounds.”

Shields said he wished he had a manager and trainer back then that knew the kinds of things he knows now. Shields said he had to learn the hard way, but that his fighters today benefit from that knowledge.

“I know a fighter needs two or three weeks in a place like that.”

Shields was a professional fighter for eight years. His overall record was 26-6-1 and he twice challenged for the WBC junior welterweight championship. Since then, he has taken the hard luck lessons he learned as a fighter into teaching. He has been a boxing trainer for almost thirty years and has worked with some of the best fighters in the business including Holyfield, Whitaker, Forrest, Mike Tyson and Arturo Gatti. Boxing is Shields’ life and it’s been a very good one.

“I’m in it for good now. This is it. I’m too old to do something else.”

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

To comment on this article at The Fight Forum, CLICK HERE.

Featured Articles

Tyson and Jones Box to an Unofficial Draw in a Predictable Stinker

Arne K. Lang

Published

on

Tyson-and-Jones-Box-to-an-Unofficial-draw-in-a-Predictable-Stinker

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, an American institution, went belly-up in 2017, but a different kind of circus played to an empty house at the Staples Center in Los Angeles tonight. The main attraction wasn’t Jumbo the elephant but Iron Mike Tyson in his first ring appearance in 15 years. In the opposite corner was Roy Jones Jr, who at age 51 was the younger man by three years.

Tyson vs. Jones was the main piece of a 4-hour boxing and music festival live-streamed in the U.S. on the TysononTriller.com app at a list price of $49.95. This was the first live event on “Triller” which allows people to create their own music videos and was designed as a rival to China-owned TikTok, one of the biggest recent success stories in the internet world.

The California State Athletic Commission, which sanctioned the match, insisted that Tyson vs. Jones would be an exhibition. They would fight 8 two-minute rounds with 12-ounce gloves and if there were a knockdown, the referee would not give a count and the bout would or would not continue at his discretion. The rounds would not be scored and no winner would be named.

Of course, the promoter chafed at these restraints and did his best to create the impression that this was a legitimate prizefight. Retired boxers Vinny Pazienza, Chad Dawson, and Christy Martin were lassoed to serve as judges, scoring the fight from a remote location, and the WBC commissioned an honorary belt to present to the winner.

The advance hype was enormous. A clickbait-obsessed media lapped it up including photoshop-enhanced images of Mike Tyson’s physique.

In the second round, Tyson landed a double left hook and that was the only indelible moment in the match. By the third round, both looked and sounded tired and by the sixth round Jones was thoroughly gassed out and took to clinching to make it to the final bell.

For the record, the scores were 79-73 for Tyson (Martin), 80-76 for Jones (Pazienza), and 76-76 (Dawson). On the internet, the clear consensus was that Tyson had the best of it.

Mike Tyson, 50-6, 2 NC (44 KOs) last fought in June of 2005 when he was stopped by third-rater Kevin McBride. Roy Jones (66-9, 47 KOs) was active as recently as 2018 and won his last four, but against hand-picked opponents including a boxer making his pro debut. His last fight of significance came in 2011 when he was brutally KOed by Dennis Lebedev in Moscow.

Jones, who weighed 210 ½ tonight, weighed 157 when he made his pro debut in 1989. In his prime, he was pound-for-pound the best fighter in the world, but that was back in the previous century.

Both fighters were reportedly guaranteed $1 million with Tyson’s take potentially reaching $10 million if certain financial targets were met.

Other Bouts

YouTube sensation Jake Paul, who we reluctantly concede has more than a modicum of talent in the fisticuffing department, knocked out Nate Robinson in the second round and it was a clean knockout with Robinson knocked out cold. The 36-year-old Robinson, the former NBA point guard who was a three-time slam dunk champion during his 11-year NBA career, is a well-rounded athlete, good enough to start as a cornerback in football during his freshman year at the University of Washington, but his athleticism didn’t translate to the squared circle as he looked like a common bar brawler.

Former two-division belt-holder Badou Jack (22-3-4), who said he appeared on the card as a favor to his friend Mike Tyson, was a clear-cut winner over hard-trying but out-classed Blake McKernan in an 8-round cruiserweight match.

At age 37, Jack’s career is winding down. He tipped the scales at 188 ¾, 14 pounds more than in his previous engagement vs. Jean Pascal. McKernan, a natural cruiserweight from Sacramento, was undefeated coming in (13-0), but was over his in over his head against Jack, a former Olympian and veteran of seven world title fights.

In a good action fight, Worcester, Massachusetts lightweight Jamaine Ortiz, a carpenter by trade, improved to 14-0 (8) with a seventh-round stoppage of Sulaiman Segawa (13-3-1), a Maryland-based Ugandan.

In the first bout on the program, Fort Worth featherweight Edward Vazquez improved to 9-0 (1) with an 8-round split decision over Jamaine Ortiz stablemate Irvin Gonzalez (14-3).

Heavyweight Juiseppe “Joe” Cusumano improved to 19-3 (17) with a sixth-round stoppage of late sub Gregory Corbin (15-4). It was the fourth straight loss for the 40-year-old Corbin who came in at a beefy 291 ¾ pounds.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel 

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

 

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Fast Results from London: Joe Joyce Stops Daniel Dubois in the 10th

Arne K. Lang

Published

on

Fast-Results-from-London-Joe-Joyce-Stops-Daniel-Dubois-in-the-10th

The historic Church House which sits in the shadow of Westminster Abbey was the site of tonight’s clash in London between unbeaten heavyweights Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce. The bout lacked the gloss of a world title fight, but didn’t need it. The oft-postponed match, originally slated for the 02 Arena in London on April 11 with promoter Frank Warren anticipating a sellout, was fairly hyped as the most anticipated fight since Fury-Wilder II which was the last big fight before the coronavirus clampdown.

Dubois, 15-0 with 14 KOs heading in, was a consensus 7/2 favorite in man-to-man betting, He was younger, faster and punched harder, but ultimately it would be his “O” that had to go. Joe Joyce, an inch taller at six-foot-six and 15 pounds heavier at 259, emerged victorious with a 10th-round stoppage in what was a good back-and-forth fight with a divided opinion as to who had the edge through the completed rounds.

Joyce really didn’t do much but throw a jab, but he landed that jab consistently and it was a hard, thudding jab that caused Dubois’s left eye to start swelling during the mid-rounds of the fight. The damaged eye eventually shut and when Joyce reached it with another hard jab in the 10th, Dubois surrendered by taking a knee. The presumption was that he had suffered a broken orbital bone.

The 35-year-old Joyce, nicknamed Juggernaut, is of Scotch-Irish and Nigerian descent. He lost by split decision to Tony Yoka in the semifinals of the 2016 Olympics and had to settle for a silver medal. Prior to turning pro, he was 12-1 in the semi-pro World Series of Boxing with his lone defeat coming at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk. With today’s career-defining win, he upped his pro ledger to 12-0 (11).

Other Bouts

Top-rated WBC super lightweight contender Jack Catterall (26-0) won a predictably one-sided 10-round triumph over 33-year-old Tunisian Abderrazak Houya (14-3). Catterall scored two knockdowns en route to winning by a 99-90 score. This was a stay-busy fight for the Lancashire man who was the mandatory challenger for title-holder Jose Carlos Ramirez and accepted step-aside money with the promise that he would meet the winner of the unification fight between Ramirez and Josh Taylor which is expected to come off in February.

The lead-in fight was a 10-round contest in the super welterweight division between 21-year-old Hamzah Sheeraz and 33-year-old Guido Nicolas Pitto. The fight was monotonous until Sheeraz (12-0, 8 KOs) kicked it into a higher career in the final stanza and brought about the stoppage. Pitto, from Spain by way of Argentina, declined to 26-8-2. The official time was 1:11 of round 10.

In an 8-round cruiserweight bout, Jack Massey improved to 17-1 (8) with a 79-74 referee’s decision over Mohammad Ali Farid (16-2-1). Massey was making his first start since losing a close 12-round decision to Richard Raikporhe in December of 2019 for the vacant BBBofC title. The well-traveled, one-dimensional Farid had scored 16 knockouts in his previous 18 fights while answering the bell for only 33 rounds.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel 

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Daniel Jacobs Edges Past Gabe Rosado on a Matchroom card in Florida

David A. Avila

Published

on

Daniel-Jacobs-Edges-Past-Gabe-Rosado-on-a-Matchroom-card-in-Florida

Former world champion Daniel Jacobs needed the last round to win by split decision against upset-minded Gabe Rosado and keep his place in line on Friday for lucrative super middleweight matchups.

But when the ring announcer erroneously announced the winner was from Philadelphia, confusion reigned for a moment until Jacobs was correctly called the winner.

Brooklyn’s Jacobs (37-3, 30 KOs) jumped out ahead against Philly fighter Rosado (25-13-1, 14 KOs) and held on for the win in front of no fans at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. For a second, many thought Rosado had won.

Both were careful during the first three rounds measuring each other’s distance and looking for openings to counter. There were very few.

It was the kind of fight expected by those who know boxing: two veterans with immense experience against top-flight world champions. Mistakes were few.

Jacobs, a former middleweight world champion, had fought Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in close but losing efforts.

Rosado had battled Golovkin too, six years ago in a bloody affair that ended in a loss. He had also lost to other champions like Peter Quillin and Jermell Charlo. But none were able to knock him out.

Both were aware of each other’s reputation. Bitter words had been exchanged for years and now they finally got their chance to prove their mettle and they did.

Though Jacobs was recognized as a knockout puncher, Rosado’s resilience was just as well known. Both neutralized each other for most of the fight with their feints and jabs to the body. Neither was willing to leave openings for each other.

Jacobs scored big with a left uppercut at the end of the seventh round. While Rosado wowed viewers with a sizzling right cross in the 11th round.

It was 1950s style, boxing with intelligence. Each found it difficult to land combinations, let alone find openings to score knockout blows. Instead, they had to be satisfied with scoring enough to convince three judges the actual winner.

Neither was able to pull out ahead with any conviction.

After 12 rounds one judge saw Rosado the winner 115-113 while two others saw Jacobs the winner 115-113 to give him the win by split decision.

“It felt just a little weird. It felt like a sparring match,” said Jacobs about fighting without fans in the audience. “This wasn’t a valiant effort.”

Rosado was certain he was the true winner.

“I thought I won the fight. I surprised him,” said Rosado who trained with Freddie Roach for this fight. “I’m a veteran, I know how to fight.”

Indeed, he does.

Jacobs now stands poised to fight one of many super middleweight champions in need of a marquee name.

“I live to see another day,” he said honestly.

Other Bouts

Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Yeleussinov (10-0, 6 KOs) proved he was not an easy touch and knocked out former world champion Julius Indongo (23-3, 12 KOs) to march forward in the welterweight division while grabbing the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title.

In a fight featuring southpaw versus southpaw Yeleussinov caught Indongo with a roundhouse left the first time they exchanged and down went the former super lightweight world champion. Indongo beat the count and survived the round.

Indongo wasn’t as lucky in the second round as Yeleussinov again connected with a left and down went the fighter from Namibia again. He would not get up at 1:24 of round two giving the knockout win for Yeleussinov.

A battle between undefeated heavyweights saw Azerbaijan’s Mahammadrasul Majidov (3-0, 3 KOs) use roundhouse rights to stagger the heavier Sahret Delgado (8-1) to win by knockout in the third round. Majidov actually helped Delgado get to his stool after knocking him out on his feet at 47 seconds of the third round.

Emmanuel Tagoe (32-1) defeated Mason Menard (36-5) by majority decision after a 10- round lightweight fight that saw a lot of clinching and leaning.

Nikita “White Chocolate” Ababiy (10-0) out-fought Detroit’s Brandon Maddox (7-4-1) to win by unanimous decision after six rounds in a middleweight clash. Ababiy hurt Maddox with body shots but found Maddox more resilient than expected.

Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel 

To comment on this story in the Fight Forum CLICK HERE.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
The-Top-Ten-Light-Flyweights-of-the-Decade-2010-2019
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

The Top Ten Light Flyweights of the Decade: 2010-2019

Boxing-Exhibitions-Side-Show-New-Angle-or-Something-Else
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Boxing Exhibitions: Side Show, New Angle, or Something Else?

Canelo-Alvarez-Splits-With-Golden-Boy-and-DAZN-and-Moves-On-to-Caleb-Plant
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Canelo Alvarez Splits With Golden Boy and DAZN and Moves On to Caleb Plant

Ready-Or-Not-Here-It-Comes-Boxing's-New-Bridgergate-Division
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Ready Or Not, Here It Comes, Boxing’s New Bridgerweight Division

Deontay-Wilder's-Lame-Excuse-Gets-No-Brownie-Points-for-Originality
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Deontay Wilder’s Lame Excuse Gets No Brownie Points for Originality

Literary-Notes-Becoming-Muhammad-Ali
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Literary Notes: “Becoming Muhammad Ali”

Juan-Domingo-Roldan-Succumbs-to-Covid-19-at-age-63-fought-Hagler-snd-Hearns
Featured Articles1 week ago

Juan Domingo Roldan Succumbs to Covid-19 at age 63; fought Hagler and Hearns

Gervonta-Davis-Disposes-of-Leo-Santa-Cruz-With-a-Brutal-One-Punch-Knockout
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Gervonta Davis Disposes of Leo Santa Cruz With a Brutal One-Punch Knockout

Boxing's-Chaotic-Weight-Divisions-A-Short-History-of-How-We-Got-to-Where-We-Are
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing’s Chaotic Weight Divisions: A Short History of How We Got to Where We Are

Naoya-Inoue-and-Mikaela-Mayer-Win-in-Las-Vegas
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Naoya Inoue and Mikaela Mayer Win in Las Vegas

Avila-Perspective-Chap-112-Devin-Haney-and-More
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap 112: Devin Haney and More

HITS-and-MISSES-Celebrating-Terence-Crawford-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

HITS and MISSES: Celebrating Terence Crawford and More

The-Top-Ten-Strawweights-of-the-Decade-2010-2019
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

The Top Ten Strawweights of the Decade: 2010-2019

No-Knockout-for-Devin-Haney-But-He-Outclasses-Gamboa-to-Retain-His-Title
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

No Knockout for Devin Haney, But He Outclasses Gamboa to Retain His Title

HITS-and-MISSES-Halloween-Weekend-Edition
Featured Articles4 weeks ago

HITS and MISSES: Halloween Weekend Edition

Avila-Perspective-Chap-113-Terence-Crawford-and-the-British-Jinx
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Avila Perspective, Chap 113: Terence Crawford and the British Jinx

Cassius-X-The-Transformation-of-Muhammad-Ali
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

“Cassius X: The Transformation of Muhammad Ali”

Stanionis-Kent-Cruz-and-Booker-Stay-Undefeated-on-a-Midweek-Show-in-LA
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Stanionis, Kent Cruz, and Booker Stay Undefeated on a Midweek Show in L.A.

Terence-Crawford-TKOs-Kell-Brook-Franco-Moloney-II-Ends-in-Controversy
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Terence Crawford TKOs Kell Brook; Franco-Moloney II Ends in Controversy

Cuban-Stalwarts-Ortiz-and-Sanchez-Dominate-on-a-Fast-Card-in-LA
Featured Articles3 weeks ago

Cuban Stalwarts Ortiz and Sanchez Dominate on a Fast Card in L.A.

Tyson-and-Jones-Box-to-an-Unofficial-draw-in-a-Predictable-Stinker
Featured Articles4 hours ago

Tyson and Jones Box to an Unofficial Draw in a Predictable Stinker

Fast-Results-from-London-Joe-Joyce-Stops-Daniel-Dubois-in-the-10th
Featured Articles10 hours ago

Fast Results from London: Joe Joyce Stops Daniel Dubois in the 10th

Daniel-Jacobs-Edges-Past-Gabe-Rosado-on-a-Matchroom-card-in-Florida
Featured Articles1 day ago

Daniel Jacobs Edges Past Gabe Rosado on a Matchroom card in Florida

Pradabsri-Upsets-Menayothin-Ends-the-Longest-Unbeaten-Streak-of-Modern-Times
Featured Articles1 day ago

Pradabsri Upsets Menayothin, Ends the Longest Unbeaten Streak of Modern Times

Yoka-vs-Hammer-Kicks-Off-the-Thanksgiving-Weekend-Slate-on-ESPN+
Featured Articles3 days ago

Yoka vs. Hammer Kicks Off the Thanksgiving Weekend Slate on ESPN+

Camacho me and Mia
Featured Articles3 days ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 115: Macho, Freddie and More

Muhammad-Ali-Biographer-Jonathan-Eig-Talks-About-His-Book-and-the-Icon-Who-Inspired-It
Featured Articles4 days ago

Muhammad Ali Biographer Jonathan Eig Talks About His Book and the Icon Who Inspired It

The-Peculiar-Career-of-Marcos-Geraldo
Featured Articles5 days ago

The Peculiar Career of Marcos Geraldo

HITS-and-MISSES-Javier-Fortuna-Shines-and-More
Featured Articles5 days ago

HITS and MISSES: Javier Fortuna Shines and More

Boxing-Odds-and-Ends-Filip-Hrgovic-vs-Efe-Ajagba-Dame-Helen-Mirren-and-More
Featured Articles6 days ago

Boxing Odds and Ends: Filip Hrgovic vs. Efe Ajagba, Dame Helen Mirren and More

Avila-Perspective-Chap-114-Electrifying-Ryan-Garcia-Opens-Up-2021
Featured Articles7 days ago

Avila Perspective, Chap. 114: Electrifying Ryan Garcia Opens Up 2021

Fast-Results-from-LA-Javier-Fortuna-Brings-His-A-Game-Halts-Lozada
Featured Articles1 week ago

Fast Results from LA: Javier Fortuna Brings his “A” Game; Halts Lozada

Conor-Benn-Improves-to-17-0-at-the-Expense-of-Sebastian-Formella
Featured Articles1 week ago

Conor Benn Improves to 17-0 at the Expense of Sebastian Formella

Boxing's-Chaotic-Weight-Divisions-Part-Two-of-a-Two-Part-Story
Featured Articles1 week ago

Boxing’s Chaotic Weight Divisions: Part Two of a Two-Part Story

Ring-City-Hollywood-Debut-Sees-Foster-KO-Roman
Featured Articles1 week ago

Ring City Hollywood Debut Sees Foster KO Roman

Juan-Domingo-Roldan-Succumbs-to-Covid-19-at-age-63-fought-Hagler-snd-Hearns
Featured Articles1 week ago

Juan Domingo Roldan Succumbs to Covid-19 at age 63; fought Hagler and Hearns

Santa-Claus-Arrives-Early-with-Canelo-vs-Callum-on-Dec-19
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Santa Claus Arrives Early with Canelo vs. Callum on Dec. 19

HITS-and-MISSES-Celebrating-Terence-Crawford-and-More
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

HITS and MISSES: Celebrating Terence Crawford and More

Boxing's-Chaotic-Weight-Divisions-A-Short-History-of-How-We-Got-to-Where-We-Are
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Boxing’s Chaotic Weight Divisions: A Short History of How We Got to Where We Are

Terence-Crawford-TKOs-Kell-Brook-Franco-Moloney-II-Ends-in-Controversy
Featured Articles2 weeks ago

Terence Crawford TKOs Kell Brook; Franco-Moloney II Ends in Controversy

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Advertisement