By: Jerome Souza (@FirstClassBox)
Hall of Famer trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain’s resume is stacked with former champions. After signing on to take over training duties for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2, 32 KOs) for his upcoming Cinco De Mayo weekend clash with pay-per-view star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs), Chavez Jr. posted pictures of himself in remarkable shape. Chavez Jr., 31, who once fought Andrzej Fonfara at 172 pounds, is coming down to a catch weight of 164.5 pounds. Beristain was in the corner for Oscar De La Hoya’s final fight, a welterweight matchup against Manny Pacquiao. Like Chavez Jr., De La Hoya was coming down from another weight class to challenge Pacquiao. De La Hoya had fought at 160 and 154 pounds regularly and even took on Steve Forbes at 150 pounds in preparation for the weight cut to 145 pounds for Pacquiao. But the weight cut along with Pacquiao’s speed and power was too much for De La Hoya. In the end, an extremely drained fighter did not leave many options for Beristain on fight night.
This time around, Nacho gets another crack preparing his fighter for a large weight cut to a lower division. In a recent conference call, FirstClassBoxing.com asked Team Canelo if there was any concern with Chavez Jr. training with Beristain and any strategy he may implement on fight night. Canelo responded through a translator, “No, not at all. There’s no worries whatsoever. I’m a fighter that’s already been made; a fighter that — how much more can you teach him”.
Beristain has been a long time trainer and manager of future Hall of Famer Juan Manuel Marquez. After a draw and two decision losses to Pacquiao, Marquez scored a knockout of the year over Pacquiao in their 4th meeting in December of 2012. Marquez also came in on the scales 3 pounds lighter than Pacquiao at the pre-fight weigh in. Canelo, 26, remained unphased with Beristain attributing to Chavez Jr’s physical transformation, “Sure, [Beristain] can get [Chavez Jr.] in great shape and give him a couple words of advice”, but Canelo left it there.
Opposite Beristain will be Canelo’s trainers Eddy and Jose “Chepo” Reynoso. The father and son combination have been with Alvarez for fifteen years. Canelo has only tasted defeat three times as a boxer; twice as an amatuer and once as a professional to the retired & unbeaten Floyd Mayweather. Eddy and Chepo have done a tremendous job guiding an 11-year old, youngest of eight boys, into one of the most popular and financially successful boxers today. “I have the best trainers, the best corner in the world. So we just have to worry and focus about ourselves, get in great condition and doing our work, and obviously when we get to the fight, we’ll see.”by