Tyson Fury trainer Ben Davison reveals Francesco Pianeta camp details
Danny Flexen catches up with Tyson Fury trainer, Ben Davison, to get the lowdown on their second camp together
Tyson Fury trainer Ben Davison is in the throes of an absorbing passion project, a heavyweight redemption plan. The main man in the corner of the former unified heavyweight champion is determined to restore his charge to former glories and, with a WBC title challenge to unbeaten American knockout artist Deontay Wilder in play for the end of the year, this Saturday’s contest against Italian Francesco Pianeta at Windsor Park in Belfast takes on added significance.
The preparations for Fury’s first fight in two-and-a-half years – the June drubbing of an overmatched Sefer Seferi – lasted for six or seven months, all told, with over 100lbs shed and a desire for the sport fully recovered. The Pianeta bout was a more conventional camp, lasting nine weeks and broken down, in Davison’s words, as follows:
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Tyson was on the ketosis diet, which is basically high-protein, high-fat, zero carbs; you can’t even have milk in your tea. It makes u feel like s*** to be honest because your body works off carbs but when you’re not giving your body carbs, it works off fat including stored body-fat so it’s very good for losing body fat. We did that for two weeks because you can lose weight fast, then we adapted his diet to get ready for the fight. During this time, we completely gave him a rest from boxing, no shadow-boxing, he didn’t put a glove on, I didn’t put a pad on. It was just steady cardio, not too intense, and weights sessions.
He switched back to a normal diet, after a transitional phase that was very plain and boring, for two weeks. We got back into boxing, moved away from home and set up camp in the hotel at Ricky Hatton’s gym, and started doing pad and bag circuits and the intensity started to raise.
We did four weeks of sparring, a minimum of eight rounds each time, up to a maximum of 12, and a minimum of three and up to five sparring partners. Nobody did more than two rounds each with him at a time – and that was three times a week. We used two Americans, a Scandinavian, a Welshman and finished off with a famous Yorkshireman.
His last spar was Friday [August 10], I gave him the whole weekend off, then Monday he did a light little bit of cardio, today [Tuesday, August 14] he just touched the pads, all in all for about four minutes, nice and light, a little trot on the bike. Then it’s the public workout tomorrow and that’s it. Training this week is just to stop him feeling lethargic.
Our first camp had to be very balanced, it couldn’t be full on for seven months as that would drive somebody insane, and bear in mind all that weight loss, it was important to allow him some form of life. There were so many hurdles to overcome for that first one; we’re there or thereabouts now, for what he’s weighing now I’m very happy especially for this type of opponent. Aesthetically it will take time for his skin to tighten, but his strength and conditioning guy, Christian Blacklock, tells me his results are better now than for the Wladimir Klitschko fight. He tells me that Tyson is stronger, fitter and faster. To the public, they look at somebody and say, ‘He’s in great shape’, but that’s not always the case. Pianeta looks in great shape but we’ll see what happens to him on Saturday. Pianeta demands more respect than Seferi, I wanted it to be ‘Business in Belfast’ and Tyson has taken that on board; things have stepped up a notch in preparations. We are well beyond the bad days now, Tyson is definitely in a positive place, and we take it day by day.