Andre Ward vs. Edwin Rodriguez: Game on

ward1In the sport of boxing, the first shots of battle are often fired long before a single punch is ever thrown in the squared circle.  

On November 16th, two genuine “good guys” of the sport will tangle to decide 168 pound supremacy when universally recognized Super Middleweight Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward steps in the ring with undefeated contender Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez.   

Despite the positive and sportsmanlike reputation both combatants have garnered throughout their respective amateur and professional careers, an unexpected issue has worked its way into the pre-fight banter.  

During the first official press conference, which took place in Manhattan Beach, California, on September 28th, announcing the big Super Middleweight showdown, Rodriguez declared that he would indeed be participating in the “24/7/365” drug testing program administered by VADA, Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, and publicly challenged the historically outspoken anti-drug advocate to get involved with the same program before the date of their highly anticipated championship contest.

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Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Bryan Vera agree to 173 pound weight limit and 10 round contest

chavez8According to trainer Ronnie Shields, successful negotiations have taken place to append a new weigh-in limit for the big Saturday night showdown between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KOs) of Culiacan, Mexico and Bryan Vera (23-6, 14 KOs) of Austin, Texas.

After the fight card’s final press conference convened this afternoon at the Crystal Ballroom of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California, both parties, including promoters Top Rank, Inc. and Banner Promotions, reached an accord binding both combatants to a new weigh in limit of 173 pounds for this Friday afternoon’s weigh in ceremony.

Although the added weight limit came as no surprise to most media members who had been following the current Chavez/Vera novella, veteran trainer Ronnie Shields made a surprise stipulation within the new fight agreement.

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Ronnie Shields remembers Omar Henry

By Joseph Herron: On Friday, February 1st, Junior Middleweight prospect Omar Henry passed away at age 25, after battling gallbladder cancer for the past three months.

After learning of the tragic news, trainer Ronnie Shields expressed his sympathy for his former fighter on this Sunday’s edition of “The Pugilist KOrner’s: Weekend Wrap”.

“I trained Omar Henry in the beginning of his professional career, and we always had a lot of fun in the gym. He was a fun-loving and jovial character. He was always making people laugh and telling jokes.”

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Ronnie Shields: “Erislandy Lara would have knocked out Vanes Martirosyan in the 10th or 11th”

Ronnie Shields - Ronnie ShieldsBy Joseph Herron: Last night on “The Pugilist KOrner’s: Weekend Wrap”, veteran trainer Ronnie Shields shared his thoughts regarding Erislandy Lara’s (17-1-2, 11 KOs) technical draw with Vanes Martirosyan (32-0-1, 20 KOs) on Saturday night at the Wynn Las Vegas.

Although the Cuban exile didn’t take full advantage of his opportunity to meet Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2013, Mr. Shields is very proud of his Junior Middleweight star for fighting through a very unexpected situation.

“What most people didn’t realize was that Erislandy injured his right hand in the first round,” proclaims Ronnie Shields. “After the first round, he came back to the corner and whispered something into his manager Luis Decubas Jr’s ear. I didn’t find out until after the second round had started that Erislandy severely injured his right hand in the opening round.”

“I told Erislandy to just box Vanes and feel him out for the first few rounds. That was the primary game-plan anyway. I wanted to see what Freddie Roach had planned for Martirosyan to begin the fight. I had a feeling that they were going to have Vanes uncharacteristically fight while moving forward, because they felt Erislandy wasn’t as effective fighting while backing up.”

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Trainer Ronnie Shields: “Emanuel Steward was unbelievable”

By Joseph HerronRonnie Shields - Ronnie Shields – On Thursday afternoon, October 27 th , the boxing world learned the tragic news of the untimely passing of boxing legend Emanuel Steward.

While every boxing pundit felt the loss of the all time great fight trainer, maybe none more profoundly than expert trainer Ronnie Shields. The lifelong boxing proponent initially met Emanuel when he was competing as an amateur boxer at age 13.

After their early encounter, the mutual friendship grew over several decades and was based on a genuine fondness and deep rooted respect for each other.

Ronnie shared his personal feelings on the air during Sunday night’s episode of “The Pugilist KOrner’s: Weekend Wrap”.

“Thursday was probably one of the worst days I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,” admits expert trainer Ronnie Shields.

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Trainer Ronnie Shields: “Boxing needs Emanuel Steward”

Ronnie Shields - Ronnie ShieldsBy Joseph Herron: Boxing is a symbiant industry and is very much like a family, in which everyone involved depends on each other. Currently, one of the sport’s most prominent figures is in need of prayer from the entire boxing community.

According to sources close to Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, the boxing icon underwent surgery last week to repair an undisclosed stomach ailment and is currently in recovery at an unnamed location.

While ambiguity encases the 68 year old boxing legend’s condition, everyone associated with the beloved trainer is absolutely certain that the world of boxing is a much better place when Emanuel Steward is involved.

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