Texas based trainer Ronnie Shields is in NY to corner his ace 154, Erislandy Lara, and we chatted about the Saturday night test against Terrell Gausha at Barclays Center.
Everybody I’ve talked to thinks Lara has his way with Gausha, from Ohio, which could be a recipe for disaster.
Nah, says Shields, his Cuban hitter has come too far to get sloppy in a bout which will screen on Showtime.
No way, Lara won’t be looking past Gausha at bigger game, Shields said, as we spoke at the famed and fabled Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn.
Shields recalled how pumped he was when he received his first crack at a title. How hard he trained. It was 1984, and it was a junior welter title held by Billy Costello. In Kingston, NY, Costello territory. It ran on CBS and the joint was jammed. Tim Ryan lauded the hitters, “What a scrap,” he enthused, before the judges deemed Costello still the champ.
“Man, you come in like there’s no tomorrow,” Shields told me, as he engaged in some recollecting. “I was hyper, man, in a good way. It’s one of those things, you go in there and you do the best you can do. I lost, I lost a decision. And the second time I fought a guy from Japan, and they stole it from me.”
He admits that yes, his experiences will influence what he tells his kids. Lara, he said, comes from a place where riches aren’t abounding. “He wants to stay out in front,” and yes, he knows that up and comers, like Gausha, are hungry too.
Everyone wants to eat well…