Nauru boxers come up against Tongan opponents in Liverpool

DURING the next five weeks chairman of Kendal Judo Club Peter Holme will use my blog to discuss the training programme of a group of boxers from the South Pacific at Kendal Dojo.

After a couple of days gentle training after the boxing match the Nauru Boxers went into the lion's den .... twice - when they visited the home of the British Boxing Olympic Squad at the EIS (English Institute of Sport) in Sheffield.

They followed that with a visit to the famous Rotunda Boxing Gym in Liverpool. Compared with their boxing hall in Nauru you can imagine how their eyes opened when they were welcomed into the Sheffield gym.

Five boxing rings and numerous punchbags of all shapes and sizes, an automatic timing clock and an uncountable number of weights greeted them along with several members of the national boxing squad.

At the Rotunda ABC gym in Liverpool, a smaller building, still had two rings and a large supply of different weight punch bags. Another national squad greeted them, this time potential opponents in their Oceania qualifying bouts from Tonga.

The Tongans had only just arrived in England but were following a similar acclimatisation month of training that the Nauruans were three-quarters of the way through.

The Nauru boxers' training follows a regular pattern. They start off with an early morning run either along the canal or on Scout Scar.

Then after breakfast they get down to three hours of ring work. Each boxer in turn spars (if there are partners of a similar weight available) for three rounds before they then work at the punch bags. These are different sizes for different forms of attack.

After the three timed rounds they follow this with pad work. Here the coach or another boxer puts on a special pair of gloves and tells the boxer which one to hit or which combination of the two 'targets' he wants him to perform.

This is done at a fast speed with the coach, usually Ian Irwin, encouraging or criticising the performance. A session of skipping ends the cycle which is then repeated with just enough time to get a drink of water.

At Sheffield and Liverpool there was more in the way of sparring with a variety of opponents and styles to make the Nauruans having to think on their feet, literally.

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