Ronnie Shields Talks About On Juarez, Pacquiao And More

06.11.07 - By John Martinez, This past Saturday, contender Rocky Juarez lost his bid to wrestle the WBC super featherweight title from reigning champion, Juan Manual Marquez. Leading up to this fight, many pundits and fans alike gave Juarez very little chance if any to accomplish his mission to be the next champion. People said that he was either too slow, not polished enough, or strong enough to go twelve rounds with the Mexican national.. I wonder if by losing the way Juarez did, going twelve rounds and not touching the canvass and never giving up, has he earned himself some respect in the eyes of the critics. I asked Ronnie Shields, Rock’s trainer, to assess his charge’s outing and what he thinks is next for the Houston fighter.

JM: Ronnie, in your own words, please give us your thoughts on Rock’s outing against Marquez.

RS: After the first round, Ray Ontiveros told the doctor that it would be hard to stop the cut, but the doctor said just to put the medicine and see what happens. And then after the second round I told the doctor that this thing was bad, but the doctor said, “well, it didn’t open up anymore than it was so it’s OK” so I went ahead and gave Rock instructions to keep fighting.

You see, I couldn’t stop the fight because if I do, then the fights ends on a TKO so I was hoping that the doctor would stop the fight before the fourth round but he didn’t. So we were left to keep going and I told Rock to throw more combos but he didn’t do it.

JM: You kept imploring Rock to throw more combinations as the fight went on, but he wasn’t able to do that. Why do you think that was? Do you attribute this to Marquez’s defense and ring smarts, the cut, or maybe the cut changed the mental focus that Juarez had going into this fight?

RS: It was the cut that changed the fight. Rock told me that after getting the cut and hearing everyone saying how bad it was, he started thinking about the cut and he couldn’t think about throwing combinations only boxing. The blood really started going into his eye and he lost focus. I did think that Ray did a good job with working the eye though, but I tell you that I know Rock could’ve done a lot more had he not had that cut.

I spoke with Marquez’s manager after the fight and he told me that Marquez said that in the seventh round, Rock had hurt Marquez. Marquez told the manager that it was a body shot that did the damage, but that he was surprised that after Rock hurt him, Rock backed away. This is why I kept telling Rock to apply the pressure and throw combinations because I knew and everyone in boxing knows, that Rock can punch. but for whatever reason he had, he just couldn’t think about doing anything boxing from then on out.

JM: What would like to see Juarez do in the coming months career wise and whom do you think should be the next foe for Pacquaio, Marquez or Juan Diaz?

RS: Well for sure we’re going to have to go back down to 126 because that’s really his weight and take a few weeks off too. He got nine stitches for the cut, but he definitely wants to get right back into the gym and train harder now and I told him I support him 100 percent.

I think a fight between Juan and Manny would be a real good fight, but I think that Marquez will end up being the guy that faces Manny because everyone wants to see the rematch between these two and also because Oscar has the inside track on working with Bob Arum and setting stuff up between their fighters now.

JM: Switching gears here. I would like to ask for your opinion on Jermain Taylor. In his last fight, he fell victim via seventh round TKO to newly crowned WBC/WBO middleweight king, Kelly Pavlik. Prior to this fight, Taylor had won by split and unanimous decisions to overblown welter and junior middleweights. What do you believe has happened to Taylor and why do you think that so many critics and fans are beginning to abandon the Little Rock native’s bandwagon? And if you were his trainer, how and what would you do to bring him back to prominence? For starters, would you advise him to do as he has done and fight Pavlik immediately?

RS: I think that Jermain should’ve fought more in the center of the ring and should’ve out jabbed Pavlik. Everytime Pavlik jabs, Taylor should throw an extra jab. I also think that everytime Pavlik got close, Jermain should’ve thrown a combination and tied him up. Plus, I also would not have had him fight at a higher weight. I mean, I understand that he might be having trouble making weight, but you don’t go up in weight against a strong and tough big guy like Pavlik. I mean this is the time that you have to dig down deep and sacrifice and I just think that he should not fight at a higher weight because even if he wins, what’s he winning? He isn’t getting his title back and as for pride, pride comes and goes. This is a business. You got to think better about these things.

JM: Would you ever think about stepping in and taking over the trainer duties for the young Arkansas fighter if the opportunity presented itself?

RS: Well I think that Jermain has the right style to beat Pavlik and sure, if they ever called, I would. I think that Jermain has to fight the right fight and I would have to spend a lot of time in the gym with working him and getting him to do certain things, but yeah. I would.

Article posted on 06.11.2007

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