Ronnie Shields likes Juan Manuel Marquez over Nonito Donaire as 2012’s Fighter of the Year

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By Chris Robinson

This weekend, former welterweight contender and trainer Ronnie Shields will find himself inside of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas as he will be guiding twin brothers and junior middleweight prospects Jermall (10-0, 6 KO’s) and Jermell Charlo (19-0, 9 KO’s) into battle.

Also working with the likes of junior middleweight contender Erislandy Lara and super middleweight prospect Edwin Rodriguez, amongst others, Shields has a nice core group of fighters that keep him busy throughout the year.

Days ahead of the Showtime-televised tripleheader that will see Jermell Charlo tangling with once-beaten Harry Joe Yorgey in the opening bout of the evening, I caught up with Shields to discuss the latest with his stable while also touching on a few storylines floating around in the sport.

Read below for Shield’s take on the future of the Charlos, his thoughts on a possible meeting between Guillermo Rigondeaux, who he used to train, and Nonito Donaire, as well as highlights on Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, and Floyd Mayweather.

The latest with Erislandy Lara…
“He’s been helping one of my other guys out. Brian Vera fights Friday night on ESPN. He’s been helping him, working with him.”

The wealth of talent in his gym in Houston…
“It’s been a while since I had this much talent. The guys are doing great; they’re helping each other out a lot. We’re looking forward to having another great year. We had a great year last year; we went undefeated last year, so this year we’re looking to do the same.”

Getting ready for the Charlo twins…
“They’re going to be a force to be reckoned with. Saturday night, they’re going to make a statement on Saturday night. They’re both fighting good fighters with good records, so we just have to get out there and show them the Charlos are in town.”

Shantel Jackson.. MORE

The possibility of Guillermo Rigondeaux facing Nonito Donaire…
“I think it’s going to be a good fight. If the fight happens, I think it’s going to be a good fight. I think Guillermo has a chance because he’s a real slick fighter and he can punch. But Donaire is just so good right now. He fought four times last year and he’s been the busier fighter out of everybody actually. And that really helps you when you get in big fights. I don’t know, I think it’s going to be a close fight. Right now, it’s hard to pick one.”

Siding with Donaire or Juan Manuel Marquez as the 2012 Fighter of the Year…
“You’ve got to go with Marquez, because he beat the man who was at the top. Everybody had [Manny] Pacquiao pound for pound number one. If you beat pound for pound, why not put you up there, in that position? Although Donaire had a good year, I don’t think a lot of people thought that much of Arce at that time and moment of his career. I would have to say Marquez.”

Abner Mares’ desires to challenge Donaire…
“Well, Abner Mares is a really good fighter. But, between him and Donaire, I would have to pick Donaire. I like Mares, he’s a really good fighter and he’s going to be competitive in the fight if it happens. But I just think Donaire is one step ahead of him.”

Whether Pacquiao can recover from his viscous knockout to Marquez…
“You know, the good thing about it, it was just a one-punch knockout. It’s not like he took a beating. I’ve seen guys get knocked out like that before and never be able to come back. But I’ve seen other guys come back from it. It just depends, man. It’s kind of hard to tell what he’s going to be like coming back. You don’t know if he’s going to be gun-shy. Nobody knows until he gets in the ring.”

Envisioning a possible duel between Robert Guerrero and Floyd Mayweather…
“I think it’s a good, competitive fight, but I still think Mayweather wins. He’s just a smart fighter. Guerrero is going to try to put pressure on him, which is what Mayweather wants. Because he’s such a good counterpuncher. He’s going to be counterpunching all night. The fight will be exciting, because Guerrero will push the action but I still think Mayweather outpoints him.”

Thoughts on Mayweather’s unanimous decision victory over Miguel Cotto this past May…
“When you look at it, styles make fights. And Cotto is a boxer; he’s not the kind of guy that is going to put pressure on you. He had to put the pressure on Mayweather a little bit. Mayweather let him get close just to see what he had and he was comfortable with it. I think another round or two, and Mayweather would have stopped him. Guerrero is a guy that is going to put the pressure on him. He’s going to think that he can fight Mayweather like he fought [Andre] Berto, which is so different. It’s like night and day.”


Pacquiao and Marquez..



Chris Robinson can be reached at

[Photo credit: Chris Farina – Top Rank]

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