Manny Robles: Turning Fighters Into Family

In the world of boxing, certain moments etch themselves into history, leaving an indelible mark that resonates for generations to come. One such moment occurred in 2019 when Andy Ruiz Jr., under the guidance of his trainer Manny Robles, achieved something extraordinary. Breaking barriers and defying odds, Ruiz became the first male Mexican fighter to seize a world heavyweight title.

Manny Robles, the mastermind behind Ruiz's historic victory, played a pivotal role in shaping the destiny of his protege. As a testament to the magnitude of this achievement, Robles took a promotional banner home with him that night, a symbol of triumph and national pride. Even today, that very banner proudly adorns the walls of his gym, serving as a constant reminder of the incredible journey they embarked upon together.

With heartfelt emotion, Robles reflects on that remarkable night, saying, "It’s an incredible feeling man. We have to go back to that night, it’s just an epic night, an unforgettable night. We made history, and it’s something I’ll never forget for the rest of my life."

A trajectory that would span over four decades, Manny Robles' connection with the world of boxing began at a tender age of ten. Introduced to the sport by his father, he stepped into a gym for the very first time, the exact year is lost on him. Nevertheless, the impact of that moment remains vivid in his memory, it marked the genesis of a lifelong devotion to the sweet science.

From those early days as a fighter, through his time as an amateur, then as a professional, and now as a revered coach, Robles has lived and breathed boxing for more than 40 years - a remarkable journey that has shaped his life and left an unforgettable mark on the sport he loves dearly.

He has not only trained fighters but embraced them as family. The gym doors become a portal to comfort and belonging for these pugilists, some hailing from distant corners of the globe, far away from the familiarity of home. Robles and his team create a nurturing environment, where respect and dedication take center stage.

"I’ve been involved in boxing for so long that these kids are like my family, you know? Fighters that come in through the door, we make them feel comfortable, make them feel at home.

“We have fighters coming in from different parts of the world, so they’re away from their friends and family, so we try to make up for that and make them feel comfortable, make them feel like they’re in a place where they’re respected more than anything. Where they’re being respected, they’re here to work, they’re here to learn, and they’re here to take part in something special."

Such genuine care and respect exemplify the crucial roles a trainer plays in shaping not only a fighter's skill but their character and sense of belonging in the world of boxing.

With unwavering conviction, Manny Robles imparts his paramount advice to aspiring fighters, words that encapsulate the essence of his coaching philosophy: "Train hard! Show up everyday, stay disciplined. Live, breathe, and eat boxing. I mean, boxing should be #1 if you want to become a prized fighter, if you want to become a world champion. It’s hard, it’s hard, very few fighters make it to an elite level, let alone win a world title, but just stay disciplined.

“If you really desire and wish to become a world champion, do it to the fullest. You can’t play in boxing."

Manny Robles' words serve as a beacon of guidance for those who seek glory within the ring, reminding them that the path to victory demands an all-consuming commitment. There is no room for half-hearted efforts, for in boxing, the pursuit of greatness requires nothing less than one's whole heart and soul.