As Marlon Tapales was lying on the floor getting ready to do crunches, strength and conditioning coach Quincy Hatcher went over to the Filipino southpaw and reminded him that they missed out on doing one routine.
Though visibly tired and spent after another hard training session, Tapales picked himself up and told the American fitness coach that he was ready to go.
Hatcher winced and just told Tapales that they would instead execute the following day.
Though Tapales has turned his Baguio City training camp as his playground, he knows where and when to draw the line.
“He’s the boss (when it comes to conditioning),” Tapales said.
Less than three weeks before he finds himself facing Naoya “Monster” Inoue on 26 December in Tokyo for the undisputed world super-bantamweight title, Tapales and his team, Hatcher, included, are not leaving any stone unturned in preparation for a full-scale war with the Japanese pound-for-pound star.
“(We are) not too far ahead. We don’t want to peak too early as we start to get into the weight-cutting part of the journey. We are going to take off the length of some of the things on our to-do list and just keep it in high-intensity,” Hatcher said, noting that the last few weeks have been very productive.
“The altitude here is definitely a game changer. When I first came and started running with him in the morning and you can feel the lungs leave your body,” said Hatcher, noting how the City of Pines’ 5,200-feet elevation helps build stamina and endurance.
“But with this guy, it doesn’t really affect him that much. You could see how he has progressed in his conditioning and we run up the mountains and he sprints up that mountain just like it’s nothing to him.”
Tapales knows he has to go the extra mile in training given the immense job he is about to perform at the Ariake Arena.
Owing to Inoue’s string of sensational showings, he has been installed as the heavy favorite to win Tapales’ World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation straps to add to his current collection of the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization belts.
But Tapales is unfazed, knowing that he is about to pull off a mighty upset very soon.
“We will win this one and I am confident we can get it done,” he said.