The respected manager and trainer of Canelo Álvarez aims to continue his unbelievable run when Canelo takes on Caleb Plant for the undisputed super middleweight title in a highly-anticipated showdown Saturday night on SHOWTIME pay-per-view.
Eddy Reynoso never looked up. Sweat spilling off the edge of his forehead, he kept with the grind in the suffocating butcher shop in Salinas, California. The staccato rhythm of the cleaver hitting the cutting board, chop, chop, chop, 15 hours daily for a $100 a week was his world.
Training fighters at night was the dream he was living.
Through time, Reynoso has not really changed much. He keeps his head down and does his work.
Chop, chop, chop.
Only today, Reynoso carries a cleaver of another kind. He carves and shapes up fighters into world champions with his knowledge, first accumulated at the feet of his father, Jose “Chepo” Reynoso.
When Eddy drives down the Los Angeles freeway, he often shakes his head in disbelief when he reflects on where he was and where he is.
On Saturday, Nov. 6, Reynoso will once again be at the eye of the boxing storm, when his fighter, pound-for-pound best Canelo Álvarez, takes on Caleb Plant for the undisputed super middleweight world championship live on SHOWTIME PPV (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Álvarez (56-2-1, 38 KOs) was a freckled-face, 13-year-old redhead who walked into Reynoso’s gym in Guadalajara, Mexico, wanting to learn how to box in 2003. At the time, Eddy had just left the butcher shop to join his father to help train Oscar “Chololo” Larios, who went on to become the WBC junior featherweight and featherweight titlist.
Both Álvarez and Eddy were two lost souls looking for a direction. They found a pathfinder in each other. Álvarez is the unified WBA/WBC/WBO World Super Middleweight Champion and Reynoso was the 2019 BWAA Trainer of the Year.
They seem destined for the Hall of Fame.
“Meeting Saul changed my life and it changed his life,” said Eddy, 44, the father of two daughters. “I never imagined any of this. I wanted to train fighters and I thought that was where my future was, and as I drive and see downtown Los Angeles, I do think back from where I came from, and never really thought I would be in this position, training world champions, and people supporting me and recognizing me.
“It’s very surreal. I’m really blessed that this has happened. I will never take it for granted, because of where I come from and how I got here. It will always be a part of me.”
What resonates are memories of walking through whipping sand gusts, surviving thirst and cold, and months in a U.S. border patrol detention center, where cracked concrete walls were not about to contain his will or spirit. He tried entering the United States three times when he was 19 with nothing but a thin T-shirt on his back and faded blue jeans.
“It tests you,” Reynoso said. “Thinking back, with what I have and who’s in my life, it’s very humbling. I wanted to be able to be in this great country, the United States, and I was willing to do anything I could to get here. I was out there alone.
“I’ll remember to this day the man who was kind enough to lend me his jacket when I was walking (from Mexico). When I was out in the desert, it was very scary, and very cold. We had nothing. I thought I would freeze to death.”
That forged Reynoso’s foundation.
It’s the same imprint he leaves on his fighters.
“ I will never take this for granted, because of where I come from and how I got here. ” Trainer - Eddy Reynoso
Reynoso’s wrought-iron will produced Team Canelo, which faces another obstacle in undefeated IBF super middleweight champion Plant (21-0, 12 KOs).
“The goal this year was to make history as the first undisputed Mexican super middleweight champion and right now Plant is the last (obstacle) in our way,” Reynoso said. “Plant is a champion and he’s there for a reason. He is tall, he is a strong fighter, but Canelo is strong, too. He’s a good fighter.
“Plant is also an experienced fighter, but Saul is way more experienced and he’ll be able to capitalize on that experience and his own skills and power to win. In the press conference, there was a lot of talk from Caleb Plant, and a lot of ignorance on his part that added a little more fuel to the fire when it came down to using disrespectful words about Canelo’s mother.
“He was disrespectful to Saul when they got face-to-face. It led to pushing and shoving, and it came to blows. When he disrespected Canelo’s mother, that’s what started it.”
If Álvarez beats Plant, Reynoso did not rule out possible future fights against unbeaten David Benavidez, undefeated WBC World Middleweight champ Jermall Charlo, or even stepping up once again to fight at light heavyweight against unified 175-pound champion Artur Beterbiev—if Beterbiev still has a title by then.
“Canelo is never satisfied, that’s what pushes him,” Reynoso said. “There is Charlo, Benavidez and Beterbiev, they are all out there. There are three or more fighters we can think about next. Canelo always wants more. He screams for more. That’s always who he was and who he is.
“He is not satisfied with what he’s accomplished. He wants to accomplish way more. That’s always been his mindset. He always wants to be victorious in anything he does.”
As Álvarez reaches the zenith of his career, Reynoso has finally drawn the accolades as the world’s best trainer. It’s been a long, winding odyssey to becoming a self-made millionaire who braced himself against whipping winds crossing a desert on swollen feet—and probably one day into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
“I think my hard work and dedication speaks for itself,” Reynoso said. “I have many fighters that are world champions and it’s something now people are seeing and respecting. When I started, I just wanted to be a good trainer and coach and make good champions.
“But as the years have progressed, I did those things. Thinking about being in the Hall of Fame is something that never crossed my mind. That’s kind of surreal.”
It looks like he’s on the right path.
For a closer look at Canelo vs Plant, check out our fight night page.
- Canelo vs Plant