Weight and See

By Richard E. Baker on January 26, 2021

“We have plenty of time to get you into shape, almost two months.” (Photo: Richard E. Baker)

Trainer Javier Valerio, from Jalisco, Mexico, finished taping the hands of Cris Reyes (9-0-0). Javier is very meticulous: the gauze smoothed and laid out without a wrinkle, the tape cut into certain lengths. Reyes picked up the black & white picture and held the shot in both hands. He outlined his face and body with his finger.

 

“I look fat,” he said.

 

“You are fat,” Javier said.

 

Javier is from the line of real boxing trainers, not the windbags who blow smoke up a boxer to stroke his ego. If a boxer does not hold hands correctly, he says so. If a boxer moves improperly, he says so. If a boxer has a bad fight, he says so. His job is to expose the problems and then to correct them. He does his job well. The job at the moment is to prepare Reyes for his March PBC televised debut.

 

“We have plenty of time to get you into shape, almost two months,” said Javier.

 

Reyes has been a Northwest favorite and crowd pleaser since his start. Half of his wins have come against winning opponents. Eight of his nine wins have come by KO, the last one a year ago against Recky Dulay (11-6-0) at Sam’s Town in Las Vegas. That fight, the only one outside the Northwest, got him recognized. Because of covid, he has ballooned.

 

He started boxing at the age of thirteen at the Azteca Boxing Club in Auburn, Washington and went on to an impressive amateur run of 40 fights. After just a handful of fights he advanced to the finals of the Las Vegas Golden Gloves where he lost to a man with over 60 bouts.

 

Reyes admits he has been training on Cheetos Puffs since his last fight but has recently switched to green vegetables, tomatoes, eggs, and chicken breasts. He feels those foods might be a better choice for a boxer.

 

Many of his fights have been at the Northwest’s premier boxing venue, The Emerald Queen Casino. The 21-year-old welterweight feels comfortable there and has a large fan base.

 

“I always bring in 300 or 400 fans to every event,” he said.

 

Since Sono Bello is too pricey to use, Javier rubbed Reyes with sweat producing ointment to help drip off the weight. Fat does not come off easily for anyone, especially a recent snack food junkie.

 

Reyes works as hard as anyone seriously pursuing a professional career. He did his stretches, warm-ups, banged on the heavy bag, dimpling the bag with every blow with his heavy hands. Then into the ring to smack the pads held by Javier. The workout was long and hard. People think of the effort performed by the boxers. Few people realize that a trainer like Javier has 4 to 5 fights every day. Javier offers small suggestions, move this way, hold your hands just so, tip to the right, bend with that punch.

 

Reyes felt good after the workout, the sweat dripping down his body, his sweat clothes soaking wet.

 

“How did I do, coach?” he said, looking for encouragement.

 

“OK,” said Javier, careful not to offer too much praise. “You’re still too fat.”