Monday, June 23, 2008

What's lacking in a lot of boxing training camps today.

I recently recorded a phone interview with strength/conditioning coach Mackie Shilstone that will be available on very soon. Mackie has worked with many world champion fighters from Michael Spinks when he beat Holmes to become the first light heavyweight champion to win a heavyweight title, Riddick Bowe when he beat Holyfield for the title, Roy Jones when he beat Ruiz for the heavyweight tile the first to do it since Bob Fitzsimmons, and Bernard Hopkins when he moved up to beat Antonio Tarver for the light heavyweight title accomplishing what his great idol Sugar Ray Robinson couldn't.

Mackie has been around boxing for a LONG time and what he said is sorely missing today is professionalism in fight camps and fighters period. We discussed Ricky Hattons tendency to balloon up in weight after his fights and the shear focus of his training camps being dropping the weight and not improvements in skill/style.

Mackie talked about the old school fight camps up in the Catskills and how they were run. He talked about his experience and time spent with the great Eddie Futch. Professionalism was displayed at its fullest. Mackie also commented on Bernard Hopkin's discipline and professionalism for the sport and how he now serves as a spokesman for it. That was Bernard's secret and fountain of youth that he constantly dipped in and drank from.

It's bullshit now a days with the training camps focus just being on getting the weight off for the fight. The taxing and over training that come with it withers fighters and their desire to fight more often as they must if they want to stay sharp and blossom. Where is the guidance and discipline that the old school greats like Futch, Arcel displayed and influenced their fighters with? The control and ability to know how much to push and when.

Better responsibility must be taken to create better fighters and lasting fighters. Listening to Mackie's stories about the old school fight camps and my experience/conversations with the old school trainers I spent time training with in upstate NY ingrains this in me fully.

It must be ingrained in many others too if they want their fighters to constantly reap the many rewards of being a world champion fighter or becoming one for that matter.

This is often the missing ingredient that prevents it from happening, or allows for a short taste and reign.

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