Trainer, Ronnie Shields, has seen his fair share of big events and fights. Having worked with both Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, he has been a part of some of the biggest promotions in the sport and has also seen the circus atmosphere they can create. With the recent Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor promotion, the boxing world got its fair share of the big stage buzz and the antics that go along with it. That fight is just over a month away, but most expect that the promotion of the fight will bring more entertainment than the fight itself.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio special with Ronnie Shields, I discuss with him the return of Edwin Rodriguez this upcoming Tuesday and get his thoughts on the mistakes that Edwin has committed in the ring in recent outings. I also talk to Ronnie about the proposed fight between Mayweather and McGregor and get his views on what he expects in the ring. Additionally, Shields gives an update on IBO junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara and also talks about his future. Here is what Ronnie Shields had to say.
Jenna J: Ronnie, you are bringing back Edwin Rodriguez this Tuesday. He has had back to back fights where he got dropped, one he won, the other he got knocked out in. I am wondering what your views are of him going forward trying to correct some of the mistakes he has been making?
Ronnie Shields: Edwin is such a good boxer. When he uses his boxing skills, I know in my heart that nobody can beat him, but Edwin loves the knockouts, he just loves to knock people out. I’m trying to get him to understand that you don’t have to knock people out to win, or to be an exciting fighter.
After the Seals fight we went over that, then we got into the Thomas Williams fight and he had Williams hurt in the second round, and he left himself wide open and got hit with the same punch he got hit with by Michael Seals, then Thomas Williams followed that up with a right hook and knocked him out. I sat him down after that fight and I told him that this is his last opportunity. People are not going to continue to back your career if you want to fight stupid, because that’s what it is.
I keep explaining to him that boxing is not all about knockouts, it’s about showing your skills. I don’t know if somebody is telling him that he needs to be exciting or this or that, but his boxing skills are so overwhelming that it scares me to think of him just going there and doing something different. We’re going to have to see what happens in this fight next week.
Jenna J: What do you think of the Mayweather-McGregor fight? Is this anything more than a promotion? Is there any fight here?
Ronnie Shields: The thing about it is, nobody has seen Conor McGregor in a boxing ring, we don’t know. We all know he’s a puncher, a southpaw, an awkward and big southpaw, so I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as people think it’s going to be. All you have to do is revert back to Pacquiao and Horn. I told a lot people that I had never seen Horn before in my life until they announced the fight with Pacquiao. I went and saw how big he was for a welterweight and said, “Man, he’s like twice as big as Pacquiao and he’s an awkward guy and throws punches that the average fighter hasn’t seen, and the guy comes forward. That’s going to give Pacquiao a lot of problems.” And what happened? He beat Pacquiao, because Pacquiao couldn’t figure him out.
Floyd is not a knockout puncher, he’s never been a knockout puncher, but what he has that most fighters don’t have is that Floyd knows how to break you down and he takes his time doing it. This is not going to be a two or three round fight, I don’t see it that way. I see Floyd jabbing him in the body trying to soften his body up a little bit, that’s what I see. I think McGregor is going to pose a problem because one thing he has is power. The good thing is that Floyd is a defensive fighter because that’s what it’s going to take for him to be able to stand and be able to counter everything that McGregor is going to do. I think it’s going to be a rough and tough fight early but I think Floyd will stop him late.
Jenna J: I want to talk about Erislandy Lara. What is his future looking like?
Ronnie Shields: It looks like we are going to fight in September. I don’t have a definite date but it looks like it’s going to be in September. They are throwing a couple of names out there, one is Terrell Gausha, that’s the name they have really been hammering to me. That’s the guy I’m looking at right now, he was an Olympian, he’s an undefeated guy. I haven’t really sat down and studied to make a gameplan just yet because I’m still waiting for them to confirm who the opponent is going to be, but that is one of the names that’s been thrown to me.
Jenna J: Besides working with your main stable of fighters, you also work with a lot of young guys. Are there any other fighters that you want to let the fans know about?
Ronnie Shields: Yeah I got this kid named Ryan Karl, he’s a junior lightweight who is fighting on Tuesday. I’m not sure if it’s going to make the televised part of the show on Fox Sports 1 but check his name out and look out for him. He has one loss but he’s a very good up and coming junior lightweight.