Watch any fighter that Eddy Reynoso has trained for any period of time and one thing that is immediately obvious is that all of them know how to throw the left hook.
Ryan Garcia stopped Luke Campbell with a perfect left hook to the ribs on Jan. 2 to become the interim WBC lightweight champion. On Saturday, Oscar Valdez repeatedly hurt Miguel Berchelt with his left hook and ended the fight in the 10th round with a crushing hook to Berchelt’s head.
Though Reynoso calls the left hook an important punch and “a staple of Mexican boxing,” he doesn’t see it as the primary reason why just two months into the year and he’s all but locked up the 2021 Trainer of the Year award.
Reynoso is quickly gaining recognition as the finest trainer in boxing. And given he’s mentored the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world since the day Canelo Alvarez sauntered into that gym in Guadalajara, Mexico, oh so many years ago, Reynoso certainly belongs in that conversation.
In trying to describe how good of a coach Don Shula was, the late Bum Phillips said, “He can take his’n and beat your’n. Or he can take your’n and beat his’n.”
That’s what Reynoso has been doing repeatedly over the last several years. He guided Alvarez to the top of the mountain from scratch, but has also overhauled talented fighters such as Garcia and Valdez, who are highly talented but were in need of a fine-tuning.
Reynoso will work Alvarez’s corner on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, DAZN) in Miami when Alvarez defends his WBA-WBC super middleweight titles against upstart challenger Avni Yildirim.
[Watch Canelo-Yildirim on DAZN: Sign up now to stream the fight live]
For Reynoso, what he considers the three fundamentals of life are what make up his boxing philosophy and what he believes has led him to the dizzying heights he’s achieved.
He’s 44 years old and at the pinnacle of his professional career with nothing but bright prospects ahead. But he wouldn’t be where he is, he said, were it not for discipline, responsibility and perseverance.
“I believe those are the three fundamentals of life, and if you have success in those three things, you can accomplish whatever you want to in your life,” Reynoso told Yahoo Sports. “That’s what I ask of everyone who [fights for me].”
Reynoso, who was 12-1 as an amateur, was schooled in Guadalajara by his father, Jose. Eddy began training fighters himself in 2000, when he was not quite 24.
He was eager and full of plans, but a number of the fighters weren’t so sure they were interested in being directed by the young upstart who hadn’t fought professionally himself.
“I went through some things for a number of years,” Reynoso said. “There were some of the fighters who wouldn’t recognize me as a trainer. But my father believed in me and what I could do.”
Another one who believed in him was Alvarez. When Alvarez first trained at the Reynoso gym, he hit it off with Eddy quickly. He was as disciplined and responsible as anyone there and the two soon developed a strong professional relationship.
As Alvarez has morphed into boxing’s biggest star, Reynoso’s star as one of its elite trainers has also risen. The credit didn’t come as quickly for Reynoso as it did for Alvarez, and it gnaws at the proud man that his role in Alvarez’s success wasn’t always recognized.
He learned the business from Rafael Mendoza and said his training philosophy was influenced by legends like Jesus “The Professor” Rivero and Nacho Beristain.
“We had a lot of good years when we beat [Miguel] Cotto and when we beat Triple-G [Gennadiy Golovkin] and I wasn’t getting any credit,” Reynoso said. “But now you can see it was not a coincidence. My fighters are doing well and I’m glad the press is finally noticing [my work].”
He’s young as trainers go, and he has a chance to be on top of this game for a long time.
One imagines that he’s going to get all the credit he wants, and then some, in the next few years.
More from Yahoo Sports: