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Puertorican boxers: What needs to change?



by Omar Calo: Lately, some of us have witnessed recent fights involving Puerto Rico’s talented boxers. Most of this fighters have a lot of potential that, with the right training and coaching, could be exploited to the fighter’s benefit. So, what is going on with puertorican fighters lately? Besides the management issue, I think these young prospects need to go away from the traditional way of doing things at the gym and go far and beyond their own limits. I know some would differ from this idea using Felix Trinidad as an example. “Tito” never left Puerto Rico to go train anywhere else, and his career was very successful. However, I am a firm believer that if he had taken a different training approach in preparation for the Hopkins fight instead of relying in his punching power alone, that would have been a totally different fight. Not every fighter will go out with a knockout. Every fighter is different, therefore, a trainer should be able to switch gears and prepare the fighter in a particular way even if that means to bring in some extra help. After all, it should all be about the fighters success.

Take Miguel Cotto for example. He has been trained by a few different trainers, including the late Emanuel Steward, R.I.P. Many people think that this way of doing things takes away continuity. I think that looking for a different way of training produce more positive than negative results. For Cotto’s upcoming fight with Austin Trout, his trainer Pedro Diaz, took him to the mountains of Big Bear, CA., to conduct part of his camp in elevated terrain. I think this is a very good strategy, to the point that Trout is also heading to the mountains to conduct part of his training. Cotto is the first puertorican fighter to make such a move; something other “Boricuas” should consider. I believe that one of the biggest problems is that most of these fighters have a hard time going away from their long time trainers; and I understand that. But in order to get better they need to try different things.

Take Juan Manuel Lopez for example. In his rematch with Salido, he didn’t do so much different than the first time. I do not know if his training camp changed in any way, but if it did, he did not followed the game plan or his trainer didn’t enforce it. So to me, he should get a different trainer. In conclusion; I know that Puerto Rico’s fighters can do a lot more. They have shown that throughout history. It is a matter of taking a close look at the way they are doing things at the gym and pay attention to their respective competition within their divisions now days, and make the necessary adjustments. In other words, GET OUT OF YOUR CONFORT ZONE. Make yourself uncomfortable at the gym to make your opponent uncomfortable in the ring!