By Rick Reeno
Numerous parties informed BoxingScene.com about an interesting story circulating in the Texas boxing gyms. According to sources, veteran trainer Ronnie Shields has dropped junior middleweight prospect Omar Henry (8-0, 7KOs) over a difference of opinion with Henry's manager Cameron Dunkin.
From the story going around in Texas, Shields wanted Henry to spar with another junior middleweight prospect, Erislandy Lara (10-0, 6KOs). Dunkin was against the sparring session. Shields, who is also doing some work with Lara, was upset over Dunkin's stance on the sparring session and quit as Henry's trainer.
Henry is a rising prospect under the Top Rank banner, while Lara is a rising prospect with Top Rank's competitor, Golden Boy Promotions. But, the story going around in Texas is not necessarily pointing to that aspect of the scenario. Based on the chatter in Texas, Shields believes Dunkin was against the sparring session because Lara is managed by Shelly Finkel. From a talent and business standpoint, Dunkin and Finkel are two of the most successful boxing managers in the business.
According to Dunkin, who spoke to BoxingScene on Thursday, Finkel's involvement with Lara had nothing to do with his position. Dunkin did not want his fighter involved in a "he said, she said" situation over the sparring session. In other words, people have a tendency to stretch the truth and fabricate details when comes it to a sparring session involving prospects and fighters with name recognition.
"I just told that I didn't think it was a good idea to have the two of them spar. He said 'okay,' and then a half-hour later I get a phone call telling me 'Ronnie quit.' It had nothing to do with Shelly. I have nothing against Shelly. Shelly's name was never brought up in the conversation. I like Ronnie a lot and I would work with him in future with other fighters. I didn't want the fighters, who are two talented junior middleweight prospects, to get caught up in the rumors and the gossip. There would be friction," Dunkin told BoxingScene.com.