This past weekend, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Erislandy Lara fought to the scheduled distance in their non title fight. As soon as the cards were read, the most debated subject in boxing was brought up once again, judging. Alvarez was awarded a split decision victory, and while many people believed he was deserving, others felt Lara had clearly out boxed him, an opinion strongly shared by Lara’s trainer Ronnie Shields.
In part 1 of my “On The Ropes” interview with Ronnie Shields, I get his thoughts on Lara’s performance and if he believes his fighter could have done any more to get the decision. Shields also talks about the controversial scoring and what he thinks the judges were scoring on. Additionally Ronnie talks about whether or not he believes Canelo will give Lara a rematch. Here is what Ronnie Shields had to say.
Jenna J: This past weekend you took Erislandy Lara into a fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Lara came up just short. What are your thoughts on the fight now?
Ronnie Shields: I still think Erislandy won the fight. It was a good fight, Canelo brought everything he could bring to the table but he was just too slow for Erislandy. Erislandy proved to be too much for him and Canelo couldn’t catch up with him.
Jenna J: Did everything that took place in the fight, is that what you wanted from Erislandy? Could he have done any more?
Ronnie Shields: Well you know, you can always do more, that’s easy to say. The fight is what it is, and we surely thought that Erislandy won the fight. We thought he did more than enough to win the fight.
Everyone keeps telling us the same thing, “You have to do ten times more than him.” Why should that be? If you’re gonna be fair, then we shouldn’t have to do ten times as much as the other guy. We clearly and cleanly out boxed Canelo, and he should have gotten the decision.
Jenna J: Going into the final round, did you feel like Erislandy had to win that round to get the fight?
Ronnie Shields: No, not at all, but you know Canelo thought he had to win it. You saw the way he came out, he came out like a bulldozer. They told him in the corner that he was behind and you could see it. When the final bell rang, all you have to do is look at the differences between the two corners, that’s all you have to do.
Just go back and look at the difference between the two corners, see how happy and jovial we were and see how sad they were. They didn’t start jumping up and down until they announced the decision.
Jenna J: The final round was very important because Canelo won that round, if he didn’t get that round, it actually would have been a draw. Do you have any regrets about that last round?
Ronnie Shields: Not at all. When you have a game plan, you follow it to the tee. Everything was going so good that we just felt that we didn’t have to do anything more than we did. The thing about it was, the one judge that had it 117-111 — which was a very ridiculous score — everybody saw that and everybody saw that this guy was so biased towards Canelo.
There’s nothing we can do about it, but the thing about it is, we have to judge the fight to ourselves and we felt going into the last round that Lara just had to end up on his feet — which he did — and just keep boxing. Again, if you go back and you look at it, see how hard Canelo came out because they told him in the corner that he needed a knockout. That’s just the way they thought and that’s why they knew he was losing this fight.
Jenna J: The major criticism of the fight is that Erislandy spent a lot of time on his back foot and spent a lot of time staying away from Canelo. What do you think of those criticisms?
Ronnie Shields: Well the thing about it is, styles make fights. Our guy, Lara, he has a style, he’s a boxer. Everybody knew that going in, that he was a boxer not known to stand in the middle of the ring and go toe to toe with anybody. He hasn’t done that in any fight, so why start now? He’s so good at what he does.
You can’t go back and say, “Well he should have done this or should have done that.” Our game plan was to get out there and box and outbox Canelo. That’s what we did, we all know that we won the fight. We can’t change it, we can’t change what the judges saw. It is what it is, it’s water under the bridge and now it’s time to move on.
Jenna J: When it comes down to the judges, what do you think they were scoring on? Do you think they were scoring on the aggression of Canelo?
Ronnie Shields: Well a judges criteria is; ring generalship, effective aggression and scoring points. Did Canelo have effective aggression? No, he was swinging and missing. He looked like an amateur with the way he was swinging punches and missing. Every time he was swinging, Lara wasn’t there, simple as that. Lara, ring generalship? Yes because he was scoring points and he had very effective boxing. Why do they score opposite of what they’re supposed to?
Jenna J: Erislandy wants a rematch, do you think Canelo will give it to him?
Ronnie Shields: Without a doubt they’re not gonna give a rematch. Oscar De La Hoya said it himself, that he’s gonna tell Canelo that he has to move on and he doesn’t want to see him fight Lara again. He’s going to reason, they know why, it’s because they know he can’t beat Lara. Lara will beat him and beat him fair and square.
If it was the other way around, they would be begging for a rematch, if Lara had gotten the decision. They realize one thing, that Lara was too tough for him and he made him look bad. He made Canelo look like a child, made him look like an amateur. Everybody sees it, everybody saw it, so they’re gonna move on to somebody that’s gonna stand right in front of him and bang with him.