By Ben Jacobs
Ismael Salas is a busy man at the moment. Previously based in Miami where he coached the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Erislandy Lara and others, the Cuban relocated to Las Vegas where he is the final week of preparing cruiserweight contender Beibut Shumenov for his bout with B.J. Flores on Saturday. Salas spoke to BoxingScene during a break in the gym at which time he was working with another one of his current pupils, Jorge Linares.
“We’ve done all the sparring now, we’re just ready for the fight,” he said via telephone.
“We tend to study the opponent and we look at the positives and negatives and analyse everything. B.J. Flores is a decent fighter. We can’t say he’s a class A type fighter but yes he is at the world level. His record shows that, he’s only lost to Danny Green and he has a good knockout ratio.”
The aforementioned Linares has recently returned to the gym following his victory over Kevin Mitchell in London. The fight was highly competitive but eventually saw the Venezuelan obtain victory in the tenth round.
“It was all part of the job, going to England and defending the title. There is no doubt that he beat Kevin Mitchell clearly. I can’t see how much Mitchell can be speaking about a rematch when it was a fight in which Linares stopped him. The only way in which we would be interested in a rematch is if they pay us more because we gave him the opportunity, we went to England.
“I will say something about Kevin Mitchell,” Salas continued.
“He lost by knockout to Katsidis, then Ricky Burns, and now Linares. So he lost by stoppage three times. If the fight had gone the distance then maybe there would be talk of a rematch. Even though Linares was knocked down, if you look at the video Mitchell elbowed him. And nobody said anything.”
Salas opined on the speculated match up between Guillermo Rigondeaux and Vasyl Lomachenko. If it comes to fruition, Ismael sees his former fighter as the victor.
“Who has Lomachenko fought? He lost to the Mexican, Salido who lost to Gamboa. Rigondeaux beat Nonito Donaire who was in his prime after he had just been named fighter of the year.”
Salas is also trainer to Tomoki Kameda, Rances Barthelemy and Jesse Magdaleno, among others.