Q&A: Eddy and Chepo Reynoso discuss Canelo’s evolution, Rocky Fielding, DAZN and GGG
While his star pupil, Canelo Alvarez, makes his New York City debut on Saturday, trainer Eddy Reynoso will have his own moment in the spotlight as he brings along a few of his other rising stars to display their skills on the undercard of the Alvarez-Rocky Fielding super middleweight world championship bout at Madison Square Garden. When Alvarez pulled off the biggest win of his career in September by defeating Gennady Golovkin in their rematch, all eyes focused on Reynoso and his father, Chepo Reynoso, and the game plan they put in place to help Alvarez secure the victory. The win also helped Alvarez land a record-breaking five-year, 11-fight deal with DAZN worth $365 million.
The younger Reynoso once proclaimed that training Alvarez was his full-time job, but Eddy has recently opened his San Diego gym to also include Golden Boy prospect Ryan Garcia and featherweight titleholder Oscar Valdez. As Eddy and Chepo embarked for New York City on fight week, the Mexican trainers spent a few minutes talking to The Ring about Alvarez and the future.
Vladimir Lik: This is your first camp since fighting Gennady Golovkin twice. Has this camp for Rocky Fielding been any different?
Eddy Reynoso: This camp was similar to the others. We focused on different things because of the opponent, but it’s still hard work and preparation to help Canelo grow as a boxer.
VL: Tell me the thinking about moving up to 168 pounds to challenge Fielding. Why now?
ER: We already beat the best at 160 pounds and there was no other good opponent at 160 available for us. We would have fought Saunders if he was available, but he wasn’t. We reached out to Danny Jacobs, but he also was not available. We reached out to Rocky Fielding because he is a champion at 168 pounds and is a good, come-forward fighter, so we thought he was the right opponent for Canelo at this time.
VL: Canelo already said the plan is to go back to 160 pounds after this fight. What if the guys you want to fight are still not available?
ER: We want to fight the best opponent available for us at 160 pounds. We have two belts and want the other two. Whether it’s Jacobs or Saunders or whoever is available.
VL: Will there be or should there be a third fight against GGG?
ER: If the fans want it then it might happen. The first two fights were both very good and very technical. I believe there was a lot of wear and tear on both guys. It depends if everyone is in agreement that it should happen and what the future holds.
VL: Eddy, you said right before the second GGG fight that you figured him out and GGG can’t get any better. Do you feel Canelo at this stage can still improve?
ER: Yes, I did say that, and GGG will not get better, but we got the best GGG. Of course I believe Canelo will get better and improve. He has beaten everyone they put in front of him, regardless of the weight and circumstance. He’s still only 28 years old. We have time to get even better.
Chepo Reynoso: Canelo is a fighter who keeps getting better. You have to understand most fighters just gain experience, but Canelo actually gets better with each fight. He’s the complete fighter and beat everyone except Mayweather.
VL: Can you tell me specifically what Canelo can still improve?
ER: He can refine and sharpen his technique. He can work on improving his counters and how to work off the ropes better. I see some errors, but we are correcting them.
CR: Canelo doesn’t throw as many punches as he used to. He doesn’t need to. He doesn’t waste his punches, and that’s why he hits with such intensity and doesn’t get tired.
VL: Canelo is still very humble and usually doesn’t like to trash talk, but leading up to the GGG rematch he was visibly angry. Did that surprise you?
ER: No. He was acting like that because he was provoked. No one has a problem with boasting or talking tough, but Golovkin went way beyond selling the promotion. That forced Canelo to act in the way he did, but it’s OK. He wasn’t angry in the gym. He just used the words as motivation and worked harder.
VL: Can you talk about some of the adjustments you made in the second fight to help get the victory?
CR: From what I saw, I believe Canelo won the first fight, but the judges saw something different, so we made small changes in the gym to win the second fight more clearly. He made Golovkin miss a lot more and stayed closer to counter. In the first fight, we were not close enough to land when we wanted to. If we were closer to him in the first fight, we would have hurt him and won easier than we did.
ER: As a trainer I can say a lot of things to the fighter, but the fighter has to listen and execute. Canelo is one of the few people capable of listening. Even if he’s hurt, he listens. He doesn’t get too hurt, otherwise he would be on the floor, but if he makes it back to the corner, he is capable of listening to me. That separates him from other boxers.
VL: What does the historic deal with DAZN mean to you as Team Canelo?
EC: We are very happy. It proves hard work pays off. It’s astonishing what Canelo has achieved in boxing. We want the Mexican fans to see what is possible if you work hard and believe in yourself. Canelo started boxing at 13 years old and dedicated his life to become the best in the world and the face of boxing.
CR: Canelo will keep showing everyone what he has already shown. He is 28 years old, has 53 professional fights and 10 other fights he’s not even receiving credit for that we are investigating. He never turned away a single opponent and never will.
VL: Eddy, you once said Canelo is your full-time job, but now you are working with other fighters. What changed for you?
ER: Nothing has changed. I am still full-time with Canelo, but depending on the time, there are others we can help. I can be full-time with the others too. It depends on the time.
VL: How did you come to work with Ryan Garcia?
ER: Ryan’s manager called me to ask if I can help them. I think Ryan’s style meshes well with our team, so we brought him in. He’s very talented and moves well. If we stays disciplined and works hard, he can move along very well.
VL: You have another guy on the Canelo-Fielding card many people won’t be familiar with. Can you tell me about Bilal Akkawy from Australia?
ER: Yes. Bilal is a very strong fighter. He’s been in camp with Canelo and hits very hard. He’s undefeated and a lot people will soon learn about him. Maybe one year or a year and a half, he will be a world champion.
Translation provided by Gabriel Rivas of Golden Boy Promotions