British Heavyweight Champion Sam Sexton received a big boost ahead of his title defence against Hughie Fury on Saturday 12th May at the Macron Stadium, Premier Suite, Bolton when star players from Norwich City visited his gym.
Sexton is hard in training for his showdown with Fury, exclusively live on free-to-air Channel 5, but he was thrilled to open his Pro Box Gym to Christoph Zimmermann, Onel Hernandez and Louis Thompson for a special training session.
The Norwich players have their own big showdown this Saturday against Leeds in the last Carrow Road home game of the Championship season and were eager to get in some final training.
Trainers Graham Everett and former European and British Lightweight Champion Jon Thaxton, put Sexton and the players through their paces on the punch bags, hand pads and some light sparring.
It was the first time defender Zimmermann had put on boxing gloves and whilst he can do 90 minutes on the pitch easily, he found the 36 minutes in the ring a fitness revelation.
“It’s unbelievable, I’d never done boxing before. It was the first time I’d tried it and seeing what he is doing 12 times for three minutes each round, you just get a feel for the madness of the stamina, power and strength,” Said Zimmermann.
“When you just watch from the sofa you might think ‘come on it’s just a few minutes’ but it is pretty hard!”
“I think because it was just two days before a game we thought maybe it was a little calm-down exercise but as soon as you get the gloves on you feel like going and punching something, it gets you in the mood to fight and exhaust yourself a little,”
“So it was probably a bit more than we thought it would be but when you enjoy it you don’t really feel it, I think we just got a bit carried away in the exercise,”
“I read some of his statistics so far and they are unbelievable, just three losses in his professional career, Commonwealth champion, defending his British title, hopefully he will,”
“It’s good to get so close to somebody physically of those dimensions, when he is in the ring he is an absolute beast, so everyone will be keeping their fingers crossed for him for the fight.”
Sexton is delighted Norwich City is supporting him in title defence and he knows it could be a long and hard battle against former World title challenger Fury, but a win is crucial to keep on track for his dream world title shot.
“It was great to see the lads come down to the gym today, it’s a bit different to their usual training regime and hopefully it is something that they can add to their programme that will show some benefits,” Said Sexton.
“I’ve got two left feet on the football pitch so I hope they don’t ask me to come down to the training ground!”
“This is an important title defence against a very tough and hard challenger in Fury. He’ll be hungry and looking to get back into the World title frame by winning the British title. For me I need to win for my own World title ambition so it’s a must win fight and I’ll do everything I can to make sure I win.”