A key mem­ber of Team Hayemaker tells Matt Christie what went wrong against Tony Bellew last time, and why it won’t hap­pen again

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Ex­clu­sive ac­cess as Haye trains for his re­turn clash with ri­val Tony Bellew

HEAD of his grudge re­match with fel­low Bri­tish heavy­weight con­tender Tony Bellew, for­mer two-weight world cham­pion David Haye has been train­ing in­tensely in or­der to gain re­venge on the man who sen­sa­tion­ally stopped him in 11 rounds back in March. Here, Steve Broughton – who is a vi­tal mem­ber of the “Hayemaker’s” train­ing team – pro­vides an in­side look at the Lon­doner’s prepa­ra­tions for his De­cem­ber 17 date with Bellew at the O2 Arena in Green­wich.

What is your role in the David Haye camp?

I am [main trainer] Is­mael Salas’ sec­ond, and over­see all the train­ing for David and the Hayemaker Ringstar fight­ers. So on a day-to-day ba­sis I sched­ule all the train­ing ses­sions and then help Salas with punch­ing and spar­ring ses­sions in ad­di­tion to de­liv­er­ing the strength and con­di­tion­ing ses­sions with the fight­ers also.

How did it come about?

Orig­i­nally I was work­ing for the Mcguigan camp and per­formed a sim­i­lar role as as­sis­tant box­ing coach to Shane, and then de­liv­er­ing strength and con­di­tion­ing ses­sions along with Daryl Richards, who was the other S&C guy there. I was with those guys for about three years, which is when I met David, as his come­back was un­der Shane Mcguigan. I left Mcguigan’s in De­cem­ber 2016, but Shane and I both still worked to­gether for the first Haye ver­sus Tony Bellew fight. After that I worked for my­self for a while be­fore David asked me to work for him full time, and now here I am.

Be­sides the change of per­son­nel, what dif­fer­ences will Haye make to his train­ing for this re­match?

AFirstly, David ar­rived at the start of train­ing camp in much bet­ter con­di­tion than he did be­fore the first Bellew fight. He al­ways trains hard, but this time he ar­rived with 11 weeks to go and al­ready had a solid foun­da­tion. So we fo­cus more on tac­tics and tech­nique rather than fit­ness. Sec­ondly, and most im­por­tantly, I don’t be­lieve there was enough spar­ring in prepa­ra­tion for the first Bellew fight. David ob­vi­ously knows how to fight, as he’s been a pro­fes­sional for 15 years, a vet­eran of over 30 pro fights, win­ning mul­ti­ple world ti­tles in a cou­ple weight of di­vi­sions. De­spite hav­ing all this ex­pe­ri­ence, Salas and I feel spar­ring is es­sen­tial to bring a cer­tain ring con­di­tion­ing that no other train­ing can sub­sti­tute. What was lack­ing in the first fight – from David’s side – was rhythm, tim­ing and dis­tance-con­trol. Th­ese are all as­pects that can’t be im­proved without sub­stan­tial rounds of spar­ring. Salas made sure spar­ring was the pri­or­ity in this camp, and with eight weeks to go un­til fight night, David had al­ready sparred more rounds dur­ing this camp than he did in to­tal for the first fight. Salas was adamant that skipping was re-in­tro­duced into David’s daily train­ing rou­tine. Ad­di­tion­ally, Salas has brought his Cuban flavour to the Hayemaker Gym, and David is do­ing lots of Salsa danc­ing and clever rhyth­mic foot­work drills. Salas has amassed plenty of knowl­edge over his 40-plus years in the game and has many use­ful train­ing tools. David is like a kid in a candy story ev­ery­day learn­ing from his new teacher. Out­side of the above, I per­son­ally be­lieve with the changes in David’s diet, mind­set, re­cov­ery and sleep pro­to­cols, we will see a very dif­fer­ent per­for­mance from him on De­cem­ber 17. If all goes to plan, it will be rem­i­nis­cent of a prime “Hayemaker”. ➤


➤ Given the amount of in­juries he’s suf­fered over his ca­reer, is it fair to say his body could break down again – be­fore or dur­ing the fight?

I mean, it’s pos­si­ble, yes. But it’s as likely as Bellew – who said he hurt his right hand in the last fight – get­ting in­jured. We are do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble in this camp to en­sure that he ar­rives on fight night in­jury-free. His doc­tors are ex­tremely happy with how his in­jury has healed, and the rest of his body feels great. He’s 37 now and we are en­sur­ing his ses­sions are tough enough that he gets the de­sired adap­ta­tions, but not so tough that it com­pro­mises his body. He doesn’t need to push his body to the limit ev­ery ses­sion, so we are tak­ing care to make sure he con­tin­u­ally op­er­ates at a high level but is re­cov­er­ing well be­tween ses­sions. We are work­ing on in­creas­ing his work ca­pac­ity by steadily in­creas­ing the vol­ume of qual­ity work he does.

Was there any in­jury to Haye be­fore the first fight?

David had nig­gles and knocks com­ing into the fight, but this is com­mon to all fight­ers on fight night. I’m sure Tony was the same, as this is just part of the game. I can hon­estly say that none of us ex­pected an in­jury of that na­ture to oc­cur dur­ing the fight.

What was it like be­ing in the corner when Haye showed ex­treme brav­ery round-after-round fol­low­ing the in­jury?

It was in­tense. Hard to de­scribe. At first it was, ‘Does he need to be pulled out? Can he con­tinue?’ Then after he went back in for the sev­enth and Bellew came for­ward, it was, ‘Can he stay in and sur­vive?’ But David has great re­ac­tions and sur­vival in­stincts and he was able to ride and glance a lot of the blows off of his shoul­ders and gloves. The dif­fi­culty was he couldn’t re­ally mount any of­fence. But he wasn’t go­ing to quit and I think he wanted to stay in and show he had that grit and re­solve when the odds were against him, and I think he did that. That was a bad in­jury and I think he de­serves re­spect for what he did.

What is your most trea­sured mem­ory from your ca­reer so far?

I think it has to be ei­ther Carl Framp­ton win­ning his first world ti­tle [IBF su­per-ban­tamweight] against Kiko Martinez out­doors in the Ti­tanic Quar­ter in Belfast, or when he beat Leo Santa Cruz in New York. The first one was ob­vi­ously a home event for Framp­ton, so the at­mos­phere and venue was elec­tric. It was the first world ti­tle for him and Shane, and it was just an un­be­liev­able thing to be a part of. The Santa Cruz fight was also great. It was a bit of his­tory be­ing 30 years after Barry [Mcguigan] had held the same ti­tle [WBA feath­er­weight], and a huge fight against a great fighter. Although I wasn’t part of the team at the time, it was great to see Ge­orge Groves lift the [WBA su­per-mid­dleweight] ti­tle in Sh­effield. He’s one of the nicest guys in box­ing and he de­serves to be where he is now, so I was happy to see that.

What are your own am­bi­tions in the sport?

I think to train some of my own fight­ers even­tu­ally and maybe win some world ti­tles with those guys. I’ve been ex­tremely for­tu­nate in the ap­pren­tice­ship I’ve had. Firstly with Shaun Holmes at Glouces­ter ABC where I first got started.

Next I got to learn the pro game un­der 2016 Box­ing News Trainer of the Year Shane Mcguigan, where I got the op­por­tu­nity to work along­side the likes of Framp­ton, Con­rad Cum­mings, Josh Tay­lor, and most re­cently Groves and Haye. Now I’m work­ing un­der Is­mael Salas – one of the best coaches in the world – and am more in­volved with David, as well as Jorge Linares and the new guys com­ing through at Hayemaker Ringstar. So I couldn’t have had much bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence and hope­fully I can take that and de­velop my own style and my own fight­ers one day.

TRAIN HARD: Broughton [left] is con­fi­dent Haye will be a dif­fer­ent fighter this time

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