In preparation for his British cruiserweight title defence against the no.1 challenger, Stephen Simmons on March 17, Askin has become a virtual hermit, running alone through the stark landscape and only allowing familial visits one day a week.
“The Assassin”, 30, chose to sacrifice time with his partner and young son to focus intently on training for his upcoming fight with the Scottish “Monster”.
He said, “It’s in Wrightington, a place called Charity Farms, and it’s only about five miles to Jennings Gym, where I train. My dad rung up for me to ask about staying there and we worked something out with the owner, he’s a really nice guy; it’s just freezing!
“I’ve never gone this far away from my family voluntarily before, although I’ve lived with Mike [Jennings] for my fight with Ovill McKenzie, but I wanted to go out of my comfort zone for this one.
“I’ll have five-to-six weeks here in total and will probably go back home for the last week-and-a-half before my fight.”
Askin’s approaching bout with Simmons will be his first appearance on a Hayemaker Promotions event, and so he is eager to impress.
“It’s a massive fight for me, first time boxing on one of David Haye’s events, so I really need to put on a show.
“Simmons is perfect for me, stylistically, I won’t need to go looking for him, we’ll meet in the middle and that’ll be it. This is why I’m living away, out of my comfort zone.”
The training regime has been paying off for the Blackpool boxer, he reported, “Dropped 11lbs in two weeks, been training three times a day.
“I’m completely isolated, so it’s perfect for me. I like to put my boots on and go for a walk in the woods, and it’s good that there’s no shops nearby to buy chocolate!”
Precluding concerns of a slow descent into madness, Askin isn’t completely alone for the entire time.
“My family come up for the weekends to stay for the one night. Usually, when I’m at home, I have to wait for my missus to get back from work so I might not be out running until after 9pm, when I really just want to get it done. Here, I can go out when I want for as long as I want. It’s literally just train, eat, sleep, repeat.
The isolation also allows Askin to indulge in his main hobby. “I haven’t got much else to do when I’m not training so I like to read. I enjoy reading fictional crime novels, I’m into David Baldacci at the moment, his books are all about military crimes, they’re pretty intense, but they get my mind off the fight and allow me some time to relax.”
Askin and Simmons are the top two cruisers in the country, with their championship clash rumoured to be televised, with the chosen channel yet to be announced.