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Jose Nino Ribalta


New Jose Ribalta Interview: I Know How Canelo Alvarez Can Beat Floyd Mayweather!

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent


In a new exclusive interview with Real Combat Media, former heavyweight contender Jose (Nino) Ribalta of North Miami Beach, Florida, now training 2003 super heavyweight amateur champion Kevin Burnett as a professional, talked about his fighter, his fights with Iron Mike Tyson and Larry Holmes, and gave away part of his secret battle strategy to the Saul Alvarez camp on how to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. Part of Ribalta’s strategy to beat Mayweather also has to do with how not to beat Mayweather.


As part of this understanding Ribalta cited his knowledge of heavyweight fights of the past, most notably, Muhammad Ali versus the late Jimmy Young. As part of the key reference point to this interview, a YouTube link to the complete fight between Muhammad Ali and Jimmy Young is provided, which Ribalta still feels Young won, is provided for reference. At the time, Young was rated the number three contender in the world, with wins over Ron Lyle and British and European champion Richard Dunn. After the Ali bout, Young later defeated Ron Lyle again, and knocked down and decisioned George Foreman. What Howard Cosell noted during the telecast was “Young is using clever tactics, has a fight plan, and is carrying it out.” Easier said than done when you are Jose Ribalta explaining how Floyd Mayweather Jr. can be beaten.


Muhammad Ali versus Jimmy Young, April 30, 1976, Call by Howard Cosell, ABC Sports


Jose Ribalta: “I’m back as a trainer again, working with former super heavyweight amateur champion Kevin Burnett in the gym in Florida. I’m looking forward to getting inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014.”


Real Combat Media: “Are you working with Burnett onw?”


Jose Ribalta: “Yes. On and off. I’m (working) with him now.”


Real Combat Media: “Do you still ponder your ten round fight with Iron Mike Tyson?”


Jose Ribalta: I study fighters. When I boxed Mike Tyson in 1986, he threw me off. I thought it would be an easy fight. What threw me off was his speed, because I really can look at a fighter and how he does and know how to beat him. I didn’t realize he (Tyson) was that quick! When he fought Marvis Frazier, I didn’t make him out (to be) that fast. He was really quick. Tyson threw me off.”


Real Combat Media: “Did you feel later on you knew how to beat Iron Mike Tyson?”


Jose Ribalta: “Definitely. We sparred in 1996 (later). I knew what to expect from him. I did pretty good with Tyson.”


Real Combat Media: “Do you feel referee Rudy Battle was wrong to stop your fight with Iron Mike Tyson late in the tenth round?”


Jose Ribalta: “I really felt they wanted to keep Tyson’s knockout ratio going. My fight with Iron Mike Tyson should never have been stopped.”


Real Combat Media: “Tell about your interest in the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame.”


Jose Ribalta: “I’ve been told I will be inducted in 2014. I really do believe I was one of the best fighters in Florida in the heavyweight division.”


Real Combat Media: “You have stated you think your heavyweight fighter Kevin Burnett would be a good fighter for Dereck ‘Dell Boy’ Chisora next. Why do you feel that way?”


Jose Ribalta: “Kevin is a tall fighter at 6’6”, much taller than Chisora, who is only 6’1” and is not used to a tall fighter. 35-0-1 Malik Scott, who Chisora knocked out in the sixth round this past weekend, was not really in top shape to fight Chisora. Scott was going back into the ropes square, not using the proper movement to beat this guy. I have my reasons to believe my heavyweight could beat Chisora. Give Chisora movement. Don’t fight him in a straight line. Move to the left, move to the right. I don’t want to expose too much about how we would fight this guy.”


Readers Note: Under Ribalta’s training, Burnett scored a second round stoppage of James Pratt in Georgetown, Cayman Islands on April 27, 2013.


Real Combat Media: “Is Kevin’s Burnett’s fighting style similar to yours now?”


Jose Ribalta: “Similar, of course. I’m telling (teaching) him how a big man should fight, how a big man should box. Kevin is a different fighter now. I know he is. I made his chin more durable.”


Real Combat Media: “Jose, what do you think of the upcoming world heavyweight championship bout on October 5 at Olimpiyskiyin   Moscow, Russia, between Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin?”


Jose Ribalta: “I would have to go with Wladimir Klitschko. He’s a smart fighter! He’s got good height.”


Real Combat Media: “Wladimir Klitschko knows how to use his height to his advantage?”


Jose Ribalta: “Exactly. He presses enough to hit you, but stays far enough outside to keep you at bay with head shots.”


Real Combat Media: “How can Povetkin make a fight of it, and have a chance to win?”


Jose Ribalta: “Alexander Povetkin has to get to the inside to do better. If he takes the fight to the inside against Wladimir Klitschko, that’s the best chance he has. Or, if Povetkin fights Wladimir with a counterpunch counter fight.”


Real Combat Media: “Jose, can Canelo Alvarez beat Floyd Mayweather Jr.”


Jose Ribalta: Yes he can! Canelo can win. I spoke to one of Canelo’s sparring partners, and I told him (passed on information) to tell the manager how to beat Mayweather. Canelo has the perfect style to beat Mayweather! You cannot pressure Mayweather, but you can push him. I know how to beat Mayweather. Right now (by taking this bout) Canelo has nothing to lose.”


Real Combat Media: “Will Canelo’s training camp follow advice like yours, or will they fight the wrong fight again Floyd?”


Jose Ribalta: I think Canelo’s going to try to pressure him. This is why Floyd beats you. They (all of Muhammad Ali’s opponents) all tried to pressure Ali, and he beat all of them. It’s the same type of fight with Mayweather.”


Real Combat Media: “Jose, what would you advice Saul Alvarez to do to beat Floyd?”


Jose Ribalta: “You can pressure Floyd without too much pressure. Give me two weeks to train Canelo. By Canelo putting pressure on Floyd, Mayweather might stop Canelo. There are things Canelo must do to win his fight. Give me a million dollars, I’ll show Canelo the way! (joke) I do believe Canelo has the ability of stopping Floyd, according to the way I’d have him fight Mayweather. He should stand his ground (and fight). He should push Floyd, but not pressure him.”


Real Combat Media: “What do Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s previous fights reveal to you?”


Jose Ribalta: “One person who fought Floyd Mayweather gave Floyd a lot of trouble! One guy in Floyd’s career gave him so much trouble. That person was not pressing him that much, not that much pressure. Without giving my secrets, one fight which closely parallels the guy who gave Floyd trouble is Muhammad Ali versus Jimmy Young in 1976. I thought Young beat Ali. Young never pressured him, he did not pressure Ali. Jimmy Young beat Ali (with the correct approach) but did not get the decision.”


Real Combat Media: “One final thought. In your career, did you ever made the mistake of pressuring a fighter too much, and wound up losing a fight you should have won?”


Jose Ribalta: “Yes, when I boxed Larry Holmes. Larry boxes very well when you pressure him. There were times when I put pressure on him, and times when I didn’t. From my experience, Larry Holmes is a fighter who fights better when you put pressure on him. Dave Clark, my trainer at the time, was told if Holmes didn’t put me down during the bout, I would have won the decision. When I was putting pressure on Larry, he caught with a good right hand, I could not take back my mistake and it cost me the fight (in my view) on the scorecards. That’s when I understood what I did wrong, and how it translates into (my take on) the approach Saul Alvarez should take in his bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr.”





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