Photos: A Conversation with Steve Forbes

IMG_0344By Rudy Mondragon  

In my recent visit of the Wild Card Boxing Gym, I was able to chill with Steve Forbes (35-12, 11 KOs). Forbes is the boxer who fought Oscar De La Hoya and has provided valuable sparring rounds to many top fighters. Forbes mentioned that he is going to fight in early April and will be doing some sparing with Manny Pacquiao and possibly Marcos Maidana in preparation for Floyd Mayweather Jr.

My first question for Forbes was who he thought were the top trainers in the game based on these four: Joel Diaz, Freddie Roach, Virgil Hunter, and Robert Garcia. He responded by saying Freddie Roach, Robert Garcia, Joel Diaz, and Virgil Hunter. Maybe he placed Freddie at the top since we were in his gym. He said Freddie is consistent while Garcia is a busy trainer and Joel is growing his gym (I reminded Forbes that it appears that Victor Ortiz has joined Joel’s stable of fighters).

Victor Joel

Forbes did not say why he placed Virgil fourth. Maybe it was because of Alfredo Angulo’s recent loss to Saul Alvarez. Then I remembered what Freddie Roach told me about the attention that Virgil Hunter has been receiving as a trainer. Roach stated that Virgil is getting a lot of attention these days as a defense oriented coach. However, according to Roach, “just because you have a defensive fighter in Ward, does not necessarily make you a defensive style coach.” Furthermore, trainers do not change the styles of their fighters and expecting Virgil to change Angulo, Khan, and Berto (all offensive fighters) is asking for a revolutionary act.

Forbes also shared his thoughts on the late (he’s not dead, but his career might be) Victor Ortiz. Steve and Ortiz go way back. They have worked together and are good friends. According to Forbes, Victor has been hit with harder punches in training camp than in his recent fight against Collazo. He thinks that Victor has lost his passion and is no longer motivated to fight since he is more focused on doing movies and promoting his own cologne. I agree with Forbes. Victor is in a situation where he needs to be resurrected by a new trainer and a new promotional banner. It was a mystery as to who trained him for his last fight against Luis Collazo, let alone the fact that Oscar De La Hoya tweeted immediately after his last fight that he should basically retire.

The last thing we discussed was Floyd Mayweather vs Marcos Maidana. We both agreed that Marcos Maidana could be in similar danger as Ricky Hatton. In Ricky’s fight against Mayweather, he kept trying to walk through Mayweather. Eventually, Floyd adjusted and used Ricky’s momentum against him and knocked him out with a nasty left. Forbes said that Maidana will need to be aggressive, but not reckless.

It was a good moment to share with Steve Forbes. He is one of the hardest working guys out there. He has dedicated himself to the game and hustles to make a living. Not only did I seen him at Wild Card, but I had also seen him at Robert Garcia Boxing Academy sparring with Marcos Maidana. This is the life of an industrial fighter. The hustle and struggle is real both in the competition and in practice ring. One has to do what one has to do in order to survive and thrive in the game of boxing.

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