“How Do You Prepare Fighters for their Fights?”
“Coach Mike, how do you train fighters to get ready for their events? Are there just a whole bunch of “basics” that must be done regardless of who you’re fighting? Or do you try to really coordinate your training time to match the opponent’s certain weaknesses and habits? Do you spend 50% of the time on basics and 50% of time on fight “specifics”, or how does this work exactly? What if you don’t have much information on the opponent? Or conversely, maybe you simply know your strengths and you try to capitalize on them, and you know your weaknesses, and you try to work on them?”
“Training Fighters to get ready for their events?
1. Many coaches train their fighters differently to help get them ready for their events, and I think it’s very different for amateurs VS Professionals. If you are a big time professional fighter than you probably have a whole team to help you get ready ala (Floyd Mayweather) or someone like that. Personally when I’m coaching or helping a guy get ready for his or hers event there are certain routinely things that we continue to do. Basic conditioning, mitt work, speed bag work, heavy bag work, double end bag work, sparring and the things we do to stay sharp and focused. These are the basic things boxers do on a regular daily basis. I also don’t want my fighter to go away from his or hers strength and worry too much about what the other guy does, we do what we do and stay within ourselves and stick to what we do. That’s not to say that we are not going to make adjustments and not be prepared for what the other guy does or want’s to do.
You cannot train exactly the same way all the time for every opponent because different fighters do different things and have different strengths and weaknesses. (Example) Fighting a Southpaw, you train differently to fight a Southpaw then you would normally getting ready to fight another right hander, because the Southpaw will move differently and punches differently as well. Plus the fact that you must do specific things and know how to do specific things to fight the Southpaw. Everything we do in the gym is going to be geared towards fighting the Southpaw for this particular fight, from working the bags, focus mitts, sparring, shadowboxing, moving around the ring, everything is geared to fighting the Southpaw. Even the sparring partners will be Southpaws and if you don’t have any Southpaws in the gym to practice with, you take the orthodox fighters and make them go Southpaw to get your guy some practice.
As far as what percentage we work on this or what percentage we work on that? I don’t worry about but I will say about a 1/3 of the fight you are probably going to be on the defensive end, so it makes sense to spend about a 1/3 of the time training and working on defense. The way I teach and coach is that everyone I work with they learn how to fight different styles of fighters because it’s just how I teach and coach boxing. Everyone I train and work with will learn how to fight a Southpaw, a slugger, a fighter and a runner plus what you call effective Olympic style amateur boxing which is get in and get out quickly before getting hit. So my guys learn almost from day one that these are the style of fighters that you will and must learn how to fight and deal with in the ring, so they already have a good idea because we train for them. By training this way there are no big surprises whenever we do have to fight one of these different style of fighters but we then tailor our training for which ever guy we are getting ready to fight.
We will also watch film and videos of our opponents previous fights if they are available especially I will do this and just to see what this guy does and what he doesn’t do. As a coach my job is to give my guy every advantage that I possibly can to win the fight. The big fighters who are making big money like I said can have a whole team to help them get ready. They often have a number of different coaches and trainers such, as a strength and conditioning coach, a dietary coach and the main coach who trains and works directly with the fighter and who will be the boss in the corner when fight time comes. But for the smaller guys out there you have do the best you can with what you have until you reach that next level of success and financial stability. I believe that a fighter getting and staying in shape is his or hers personal responsibility. Being in shape and staying in condition is a personal responsibility and is about personal pride and being professional. A boxer shouldn’t have to depend on a personal trainer or someone else to get him into shape to fight. A fighter should never fail to make weight or come in out of shape for a fight, unless he got injured and didn’t have enough time to rehab his injury or a guy takes a fight on a very short notice. And if you suffered an injury and are out of shape because of it then you shouldn’t take the fight.
If you are serious about your craft as a boxer then you should never leave your conditioning in the hands of someone else and depend on someone else to get you in shape. Guys should be training all the time as if you are getting ready to fight because you never know when the phone is going to ring for your big opportunity. And you better be ready in case that big opportunity presents it’s self. Remember this you boxers and fighter out there, “IF YOU STAY IN SHAPE YOU DON’T HAVE GET IN SHAPE”