Been asked so much over the last couple of weeks about sunny's camp for his world title win. thought i'd drop a line with some of the things we have taken away from camp.
Two weeks on and I'm just about over the feeling of winning my first world title. What a performance from Sunny! in my opinion he won 8 or 9 rounds - unbelievable. This was such a team effort. World class tactics and cornering, world class talent and some bits added by myself.
It's always a strange one when there's a big fight. you want to make sure everything is perfect but also need to realise you shouldn't look to reinvent something that isn't broken. The whole way through camp, we were all so calm. No mention of big fights or pressure, it was more of the same required.
Sunny has been doing this over 10 years. The mindset was the fight is bigger, the prize is bigger but in reality you just got to do the same stuff you been doing for the past 15 fights as a pro.
I think this took away any pressure that might have existed. And if there was any, we welcome it. None of us work as hard as we do, especially Sunny, to be in fights that don't matter. We want the big fights. I want to be in situations where if my fighter gases out, I'm getting loads of criticism. As soon as there is no pressure, we are doing something wrong.
Anyway, what did I learn this camp and what served us well. Here are my top lessons from Champ Camp #1.
Top lessons from camp
Managing fatigue is key - When the stakes are high and you are desperate to do well, it's easy to do more. Your mind wants to go 100% and do extra. But this will lead to burn out. Mentally you might be satisfied but physically you will suffer. We managed camp perfectly. Sparring finished at the right time to allow for recovery. Runs were hard at the right time and easier at others. You saw this on fight night, if Sunny was over trained at all, he would have faded in the second half of the fight, especially given how much he worked in the opening 6 rounds.
8 week camps aren't as good as 14 week camps - 8-10 weeks is more than enough time to get someone fight ready and usually this is what we get. With Sunny we started around 14-16 weeks out, I think. This gave us the luxury of pacing camp. we were able to bring weight down slowly, keeping him fuelled for sparring and runs, therefore improving quality. Sometimes, with less time, you have to cut weight quicker and quality of training drops. Camps are about technical level. Winning world titles is about technical aspects. The longer duration allowed us to nail that.
Weight cuts are key - The final part of camp is making weight, your performance essentially rests on how well you do that. Too often now, fighters focus on making weight and not on how well they can perform 36 hours later. We got our cut nailed. by making some small changes to diet eg cutting fibre, we were able to make weight while still eating around 2000 calories a day. This showed in Sunny's performance. He had to energy to perform for the entire duration. Endurance can be affected by weight cuts and had we not made it so well, that could have forced Sunny to slow and be caught more, it could have affected the outcome.
There is so much that goes into camps and things we learn, things we notice and things we need to improve on. These are my top things I have taken from camp and the things I know are important to performing.
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