"It is great for the young kids, everyone really, to see the champions training and working hard. But, we also want people to know that everyone gets treated the same here. The champions can be a great mentor to the young kids and show them what hard work and dedication can do. "
Jorge Capetillo runs one of Las Vegas’ busiest gyms - the Capetillo and TM Boxing Gym. Throughout the day a stream of boxers walk through the door from young, novice amateurs to decorated world champions, and everyone in between. Under the watchful eye of Capetillo, all are welcome, and treated with the same level of respect and encouragement. With the support of his lovely wife Griselda, who also works in the gym, Capetillo works diligently to create a welcoming and encouraging atmosphere that allows fighters of every level to feel like they are a part of his boxing family.
Capetillo himself drew global attention in 2019 when, working the corner of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who was battling Otto Wallin, he managed to stem the tide of a huge gash over the eye of the heavyweight champion allowing him to stay in the fight and retain his undefeated record by a unanimous decision.
Now, despite the restrictions of dealing with a global pandemic, and a limited number of boxing shows over the last year, trainer Capetillo is as busy as ever, working with his stable of amateur and professional fighters. MaxBoxing decided it was time to catch up with Capetillo.
Bill Tibbs: Hello Jorge; how are you? Nice to chat again.
Jorge Capetillo: Hello my friend. Yes, nice to catch up again.
BT: We hadn’t spoken in a while, so I thought it was time to check in.
JC: Yes, of course, always good to talk to you.
BT: Let’s get right into it. You were recently down in LA helping with something called ‘Project Hope.’ Tell me a little about that.
JC: Yes, that was something we did. Our gym partnered with the foundation to lend our support to the cause – you know helping out the community, providing support, help with donations to win some prizes, music, food, they were giving away a van. Just providing hope and positivity to the people there. People need to feel loved and supported. We had heavyweight champion fighters Tyson Fury and Andy Ruiz, and others, there to speak with people and really send the message of positivity. But, it was not just the physical food and support but also the spiritual food as well, spread the word of God. It is very important to spread the gospel to people.
BT: You are very open and up front about your Christian faith and beliefs. I often hear you giving thanks to God in many of your interviews and conversations.
JC: Everything great that I have in my life, it is from God and I always have to remain humble and never forget that. Yes, Bill, I am always very thankful to my Lord and savior.
BT: You have a lot of very successful professional champions who will come into your gym to train. Tyson Fury, Andy Ruiz, Shakur Stevenson, Fernando Vargas and his sons, Jessie Magdeleno, Gabriel Flores; it isn’t uncommon to see some great fighters in there working out. They train right alongside the amateurs, the young kids, people just looking to exercise - everybody. It seems like a real close, family atmosphere in there.
JC: It is great for the young kids, everyone really, to see the champions training and working hard. But, we also want people to know that everyone gets treated the same here. The champions can be a great mentor to the young kids and show them what hard work and dedication can do. The hard work and commitment they learn can be applied to all areas of their life. Not everyone boxing in the gym will be a fighter and not every fighter will end up a pro or a champion. But, that’s Ok, all the skills and commitment they show here will help them in a lot of ways - it’s a positive atmosphere, a great way to build confidence and a great community to be part of. It’s a very positive atmosphere, get in shape, build up their self-confidence. And yes, it is great the way the pro’s train right amongst them. We work on having a very supportive and positive atmosphere here.
BT: You have been working with (heavyweight champion) Tyson Fury for a while now. Is the plan to have him fight sometime this summer?
JC: Yes, it is great to work with him and his team in any way that I can – help with coaching, cutman, whatever role they need. It is great to help him and work with him, but it is also a great friendship and a brother in Christ. I believe the plan is to have him fight sometime this summer, that is what I am hearing but we’ll wait to see. Right now, he is working hard, in great shape and getting ready.
BT: Had you always planned to be a trainer? And, if so, who influenced you in your career?
JC: I actually had wanted to fight professionally at age 18 but I was already married with a family and I couldn’t do it. But, I stayed in the gym and learned from my uncle Javier Capetillo who really taught me and also I learned a lot being around the great Rafael Garcia – rest in peace.
BT: When you are working with a fighter do you have to adapt to the fighter, and his style, or are there certain things you try to develop with every fighter you work with?
JC: Each fighter is different so in a sense you have to work with their strengths and try to build on them. But, each fighter might be different and you are working from where they are coming from, be it a short distance with some fighters, long range distance with other fighters. You help build on the strengths they have but the fundamentals never change. There are certain basic fundamentals that every fighter has to work on, and every fighter is built from there. Never forget the fundamentals of boxing – they never change.
BT: What do you have coming up with some of the pros in the gym?
JC: Well, of course we are working with Tyson and getting him in shape, he is working hard. We are waiting on date for Jessie Magdaleno, Shakur Stevenson is fighting in June, Fernando Vargas’ boys are busy training and staying ready for fights and I just heard that Gabe Flores is fighting in August. So, it is always busy.
BT: You always seem very happy working with the kids in the gym. They really seem to love it there.
JC: Oh, of course, we love working with the kids, my wife and I and we are always trying to show them to remain humble. The pro fighters, it can be a bit different as it is a business. But with the kids in the gym, we are always trying to show them, no matter what stage of boxing they are in they can be developing their character as a person that they can use in all areas of their life. With our fighters, it doesn’t matter – pro or amateur, or just working out in the gym for fitness – everybody is treated with the same respect and love and kindness, that never changes.
BT: Always great to catch up Jorge. When it easier to travel I am looking forward to getting out to visit you at your gym. Thanks for the chat.
JC: You are welcome anytime; my gym is always open to you, my friend. Thank you and God bless you.