Preparing for a Title Fight

by DennisHogan 2650 views Training

Preparing for a Title Fight

My next title fight is coming up on September 10th in Brisbane, I learned of this fight and opponent mid July which was perfect timing as I was doing 90 minutes maintenance boxing cardio work mixed with technique work daily up to that point. So coming from a really good aerobic base to step up the intensity in my training was very good and exciting. I had two weeks work in Brisbane with a mix of more intense running, sprints, strength and conditioning, skipping, heavy bag work and school sparring. 

(School sparring is where you practice like a fight but to a much smaller degree of power and directed school sparring is practising specific combinations that will suit you against your opponent. This really improves quality of technique also)

miami florida

I arrived in Miami (America) seven weeks out from the fight and have five weeks training here. First thing I noticed was the heat and humidity, which I have acclimatised to slightly but it is still very taxing on the body.

Although, I see this as a positive, as it will help with weight loss.

I'm currently 159lbs (72.3kg) and my fight weight is 154lbs, so losing 5lbs (2.3kg) will be a breeze and it is by far the best I’ve made weight at super welterweight.  

Since arriving in Miami the training has changed and we focus on all three cardiovascular systems, being aerobic, anaerobic and creatine phosphate. Previously, we focused on aerobic fitness to build that base, and then we move into anaerobic dominant training to build intensity into the fitness performance. Finally, this week being 3 weeks out from the fight, we focus on the most powerful of the 3 energy systems, creatine phosphate, which will allow me to bring in the intensity to my performance. 

My free sparring, which is spar to full energy output (just like a fight) started when I got here and we started at only 5 rounds and have built it up nicely per week getting up to 10 rounds this week.

I am feeling very fresh and motivated.

It’s hard to maintain motivation and it can be lost in boxing if sparring is constantly intense with lots of rounds as you mentally and physically become fatigued. With this in mind my coach Moro closely monitors my performance with strength tests to see if any fatigue is creeping in and if so the training will change.

Training days are never the same, they are mixed up and different every day to keep my mind guessing and get the best out of the three cardiovascular systems. My body and performance have responded very well to this type of training, which leaves me very optimistic for an explosive and career defining performance on September 10. 

So where to now?

Next week I leave Miami and head back to Brisbane, where I will have 8 days to get over jet lag and acclimatise until fight night. I have done this so many times over the past 3 years that I feel I have travelling down to a tee.

The top 4 things I do to prevent jet lag as much as possible are:
  1. I look to the time zone of the country I’ll be arriving in and make sure I try and re-program my sleep on the plane to the time of my destination.  
  2. I wear my skins to compress my body and get up and stretch every 2 hours to maintain good circulation.
  3. I drink as much water as I can and I mix it with electrolytes in order to ensure I am optimally hydrated.
  4. I have pre ordered gluten free food on flight. I'm too close to weigh in and last thing I need is to be blocked up. If I eat breads and gluten too close to a fight, I tend to find I feel sluggish, which ultimately leads to slower reaction time. 

But back to my last few weeks.. .

When I arrive in Brisbane my number 1 priority will be stretching, massage and chiro to get me 100% right. Training will change dramatically as well, as I will be tapering off but ensuring I keep my sharpness will be the key. 

To lose the last of my weight I will do a water load, which consists of cutting out complex carbs and eating only proteins and fats.


Four days from weigh in I will consume 8 litres of water, continue that through days 3 and 2 and then on the day before my weigh in I will have only 4 litres of water to be finished before 6pm. By doing this the body realises there is an abundance of water due to over hydration, which causes it to flush all the excess water out in an effort to go back to normal.

On the day of the weigh in I drink no water, as my body will keep pushing out the water until there is none left, leaving me to make weight easy without any physical effort. 

Following weigh in I will then follow a very strategic refuelling process, consuming carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to ensure my organs and muscles are recovered as optimally as possible. Getting this wrong would be disastrous and would result in no energy, dehydration and flash knockdowns as the brain is cushioned by water.

Rehydration and refuelling after a weigh in is critically important. I will be doing an extensive write up on my water load and refuel process soon so check back in for that one.

And then it is fight day!

On fight day I will do a warm up in the morning and just rest for the whole day, ensuring I get a nap in before I leave for the venue. There is nothing like being bored all day to get you pumped for a fight. I will only eat fast digesting proteins and carbs that day to ensure good energy and no bloating, as having gastric stress or discomfort would be detrimental to my performance. And then it is when I am in the ring that all of this preparation comes to fruition.

And with all this considered… I'm in excellent shape for a great win and cannot wait to get in there and do my thing. 

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Professional Boxer

As an amateur boxer I have won Provincial, National and Multi Nations Gold medals, as well as travelling the world as a part of the Irish National Team for many years. As a professional I have won 2 state titles in Queensland, the National Australian Middleweight title, The Oceania regional title, the Celtic nations regional title (Ireland, Scotland, Wales), The North American title and I have also contested the World Title, which has been my only pro loss. As a motivational speaker I’ve spoken at 8 big conferences and seminars around the country mainly to sales and marketing reps and other motivation driven industries. I have also performed talks on health and fitness and also integrity and cooperation in community based environments as well.

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