In a recent interview, world champion boxing coach Manny Robles discussed his new role as the coach of LA Elite in the Team Combat League (TCL) and shared insights into his plans for 2024. Robles, renowned for guiding Rafael Espinoza to a world featherweight title win over Robeisy Ramirez, delved into various topics, including the evolving landscape of boxing and the motivations behind his venture into TCL.
Team Combat League (TCL) and Robles’ Coaching Role
Robles explained that his decision to coach LA Elite in TCL stemmed from a desire to work with upcoming boxers who lack opportunities to showcase their talents on a bigger stage. The team-based boxing competition, where boxers represent US states, offers a unique platform for emerging talents. Robles sees TCL as a means for boxers to gain recognition, get paid, and compete in a fun and competitive environment.
TCL features a team-based format with boxers representing US cities, and last season was contested over 18 three-minute rounds. The upcoming season, launching in March, expands to 24 rounds with 16 fighters per team. Robles, biased as an LA resident, emphasized Los Angeles as the best place for upcoming boxers due to its status as the boxing capital of the world.
The Growth of Boxing in the US
Robles highlighted the growth of boxing talent in the US, citing the country’s success in recent Olympic Games and Pan American Games. With high-performance training camps, regional and national competitions, and a competitive pool of young talents, the US continues to produce promising boxers like 17-year-old featherweight Curmel Morton and other rising stars in different weight divisions.
Notable Featherweights in the Mix
Robles mentioned notable featherweights like 21-year-old Jahmal Harvey, Pan American Games winner; 18-year-old Jordan Fuentes, who secured a team USA trial spot with a 4-0 competition stint; and 19-year-old Dedrick Crocklem, a three-time National champion heading for team USA trials.
Overall, Manny Robles expressed enthusiasm for his role in TCL, emphasizing the potential it holds for developing boxing talent and fostering a competitive spirit among emerging athletes.