By Reynaldo Sanchez
Ismael Salas, the veteran Cuban trainer, can identify talent with a single glance. Since he began training Cuban star Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux, Salas believes he was handed one of the most technical and skillful Cuban boxers that anyone has seen in the last years.
Rigondeaux is recognized by many boxing analysts as a technical marvel. His quality has been certified with his big achievements inside the amateur ranks, two Olympic gold medals, and an unbeaten pro record of 8-0.
Salas has no doubts about his boxer's ability to beat WBA super bantamweight champion Rico Ramos on January 20th.
“We understand that in order to reach certain success in this sport, we must return to the basics. Here it does not come with just scoring points, but to beat your opponent with hard punching and that's what we are focused on right now,” said Salas.
The trainer added - “Rigondeaux had more than 300 fights as amateur, and then he became a pro. A fighter [with such a big amateur background] generally shows certain habits, like being less aggressive and doing more boxing. And we hope to further Rigo along as he begins to do this transition in his fight against Ramos”
Rigondeaux has been exposed to great pressure. The expectations since his debut has been enormous.
“We are looking to redesign him. This means that we must refocus the sportsman physics and psychologically change him in a different context. The mental picture showed by professional fighters is different than those of the amateurs," Salas said.
Salas and “The Jackal” began his training camp in November, and the trainer feels the rescheduling of the fight was one of the best things that could have happened to them.
“These three additional weeks will help us to consolidate the prefect plan to defeat Ramos, both physically and psychologically," Salas said.