Behind every great boxer is a great trainer. These trainers spend long hours ensuring that their fighters have all the knowledge, skill, and physical conditioning to win their upcoming bouts.
For every Muhammad Ali there is an Angelo Dundee. For every Mike Tyson there was a Cus D'Amato (well, for a time).
The Ring Magazine has a list of the top pound-for-pound fighters. Why not a list for the best trainers?
This is the start of a regular monthly feature with power rankings based on criteria including:
1) Recent Fighters Trained
2) Recent Fights/Titles Won
3) Current Fighters
4) Importance of Upcoming Fights
Comments welcome as always.
Here are the top five for June 2011, along with a few honourable mentions.
Gabriel Sarmiento: Trainer of The Ring Magazine Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez
- Trainer Power Ranking - 5.5/10
Joel Diaz: Trainer of WBC/WBO Light-Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley
- Trainer Power Ranking - 5.5/10
You may be surprised by this entry, but note it is only an honourable mention.
Adam Booth is the trainer of WBA Heavyweight Champion David Haye and British and Commonwealth Super-Middleweight Champion George Groves.
A former fitness trainer to the stars, the ominously nicknamed "Dark Lord" is very good at breaking down the weaknesses of his fighter's opponent and crafting a sensible game plan.
George Groves—a Booth trainee—was a perfect example of a well-prepared fighter executing an almost flawless game plan when he took on James DeGale in the UK. Groves was a medium-to-heavy underdog going into the contest against a much faster and stronger opponent.
Booth recently explained how he was able to prepare Groves for DeGale. You can watch the interview here (best viewed from 3.00) and its well worth viewing.
It will be interesting to see what strategy he has planned for David Haye and his fight with Wladimir Klitschko.
Definitely a trainer to make a note of for the future.
- Trainer Power Ranking - 5/10
Roger Mayweather is the uncle and trainer of Floyd Mayweather Jr. Is any further explanation neccessary?
The Mayweather family—including Floyd Mayweather Sr.—are part of a boxing dynasty and very talented disciples of the sweet science.
Roger Mayweather fails to make the current list due to general inactivity with major fighters.
Roger Mayweather currently trains prospect Jesus Vargas, who defeated former WBA Light-Welterweight champion Vivian Harris in April 2011.
With Floyd Jr. returning on Sept. 17 to fight Victor Ortiz, a victory could propel Roger Mayweather into the top five.
- Trainer Power Ranking - 6/10
Ronnie Shields has trained some of the best fighters in recent times—names on his resume include Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whittaker, Vernon Forrest, and Tomasz Adamek.
Shields is still going strong from his Savannah Boxing Gym in Houston and is the trainer of Kermit Cintron and former amateur superstar Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Rigondeaux recently defeated Ricardo Cordoba, winning the interim WBA Super Bantamweight Title in the process, and is a good prospect for the future.
- Trainer Power Ranking - 6.5/10
Naazim Richardson is currently the trainer of the WBC/IBO and Ring Magazine Light-Heavyweight Champion Bernard Hopkins.
Hopkins' defeat of Jean Pascal at the age of 46 set a new record as he became the oldest man in the sport of boxing to hold a world title.
Richardson has also trained Shane Mosley for his fight against Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Antonio Margarito.
The Margarito fight was famous for Richardson finding illegal substances in Margarito's handwraps prior to the bout.
Bernard Hopkins is currently in negotiations to fight Chad Dawson later this year.
- Trainer Power Ranking 7/10
Beristain is without a doubt Mexico's greatest boxing trainer, and he is also a recent inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
He is the trainer of Juan Manuel Marquez, Juan Carlos Salgado, and Eduardo Escobedo.
Marquez is scheduled to fight Likar Ramos on July 16 before facing Manny Pacquiao for the third time on November 12.
When Marquez takes on Pacquiao, could "Nacho" help Beristain achieve the most defining victory in his training career?
- Trainer Power Ranking - 8/10
Emanuel Steward is one of boxing's all-time great trainers. The impressive list of fighters he has trained includes Lennox Lewis, Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya, and the great Thomas Hearns.
Steward has become a well-known commentator/analysist and has also been inducted into the International and World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Steward shows no signs of slowing down and is the current trainer of Miguel Cotto, Chad Dawson, and world heavyweight champions Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko.
Wladimir Klitschko will fight David Haye on July 2. Miguel Cotto is scheduled to fight Antonio Margarito on Dec. 3.
Chad Dawson is currently in negotiations to fight Bernard Hopkins later this year.
- Trainer Power Ranking - 9/10
Freddie Roach just beats Emanuel Steward to the top.
Roach has previously trained fighters Bernard Hopkins, Oscar De La Hoya, and Mike Tyson, amongst others. Roach has also trained MMA fighting greats Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva.
In the boxing world today, his prize ward is the Ring Magazine pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao's next fight is scheduled to be a third bout with Juan Manuel Marquez.
Roach also trains WBA Light-Welterweight Champion Amir Khan, who will take on IBF Light-Welterweight Champion Zab Judah in a unification fight on July 23.
- Trainer Power Ranking - 9.5/10