When Hudson begins working with a fighter, he takes an in-depth look at them.
“Initially, it’s based on a lot of assessments we do with the fighter and what he needs to improve; Strength being the first one, the overall conditioning for his past fights,” Hudson told Maxboxing.com late Friday night. “We get a lot of information assessing what I have seen prior to the fights we do together.”
Bogere and his team first approached Hudson after his fight with Raymundo Beltran in May of 2011. Bogere won by ten round decision a vacant regional belt that increased his ranking. It was time to take his nutrition and conditioning more seriously.
“It was a knockdown drag-out war. It was a great fight. It was one of those fights to watch from the beginning to the end. There was a lot of fighting non-stop from bell to bell,” said Hudson who also saw something else about Bogere. “But I thought that he was weak and he was drained and his conditioning wasn’t up to par. The main thing with him is diet and nutrition. We have taught him how to manage his weight during training camp. So we can train and work. I like to train to the full maximum so we can get the most benefit from the training camp.”
In Bogere, Hudson saw a fighter with a wonderful set of attributes. At 5’6” with a 68” reach, Bogere isn’t the biggest lightweight in the world. But he has a solid frame, an awkward style, good speed and respectable power. All of this could be increased through the proper drills. But before that, Hudson had to educate Bogere on proper nutrition as well as the proper way to approach making weight.
“The mental understanding of how to use his attributes in the ring,” said Hudson of Bogere’s greatest improvement throughout this process. “Also, he had weight issues. The starvation thing. [When it comes to being] able to perform as well as diet and weight issues, most of these guys take a page out of the old school book. [Fighters] really know how to starve themselves and put themselves at a deficit going into a fight. And that is why [Bogere’s] trainer called me after he fought Beltran.”
Hudson describes how he first builds his program with the fighter.
“It’s all based on assessments and goals set by me and his trainer to try and pull what we need out of this guy,” said Hudson. “A lot of times I already know what it is. I let the trainer tell me what he wants and then I add to what he wants and what he needs to show them how to get the most out of the fighter. It always starts with nutrition. I don’t care who it is or what sport it is. Our bodies are not going to perform to that level if we are not fueled properly to do so especially dealing with a smaller fighter who has to watch his weight during training camp. First we build from that perspective.”
Hudson has a variety of techniques from sprint training to an unusual harness apparatus that he straps into and attaches to the fighter in front of him during pad work. As the fighter is charging forward throwing punches at the trainer, Hudson is resisting from behind and pulling the fighter backward. This creates the explosiveness, speed, power and endurance a fighter is going to need. The harness is just one of many tricks Hudson in his bag.
“Once we know how to manage his food and manage his workout in conjunction together we can concentrate on training protocols,” continued Hudson. “Trying to develop strength or try and develop the needed attribute that is going to make him that much better. Providing nutrition going into these programs is important because I work these guys really, really, really hard. I try and every ounce of speed out, every ounce of strength. I try and pull out every attribute that we need when we get into that ring.
When asked to describe what he sees in Bogere now, Hudson said “Very talented. A lot of heart. Tough kid. Very intelligent kid. Very smart kid. A lot of speed. Great movement. Great agility and great power for a little guy. He can punch with both hands. With his power and intelligence, you have a pretty game fighter. Good puncher. Good fighter that can box. He can do whatever it takes.”
But beyond the speed that can be measured and the power that can be felt, there are the intangibles that make up a champion.
When it came to Bogere’s intangibles, Hudson described them as such, “The intangible about Sharif, especially now . . . he was a young kid . . . just like Mikey [Garcia] . . . their awareness as they mature and come close to that title shot like for Sharif, his awareness of where he has come from . . . he comes from Africa. He was very poor over there. He has been here for quite some time. He is a very spiritual kid. Very quiet kid and very focused as a result. I like that about him. He’s not distracted. It’s easy for me to go and say ‘This is what we are going to do. This is what I am trying to achieve with you . . .’ and he doesn’t get distracted because he is focused. There is no struggle with him. There is no ego. And he understands what he we are trying to implement and he just does it. It makes my job easy.”
Three fights. Three stoppages in three rounds or less. Is it matchmaking? Did Bogere finally turn the corner as a fighter? Or is Darryl Hudson just that good?
“It’s a combination of things and me doing my little magic,” smiled the always humble yet logical Hudson. “I know how to pull it out of them from a scientific perspective. It’s not a knock on the [the old school training methods]. It’s something new that makes sense and it correlates to what they do in the ring. The movement drills that I do. The conditioning drills. It helps to work with a trainer who understands what I do. I give Kenny a lot of credit. I give Robert [Garcia, Mikey Garcia’s trainer] a lot of credit. Dan Birmingham and all those guys I have worked with because they are objective and are open to the things that I do. Nutrition, my agility drills, my movement drills and all of that. It’s pretty easy for me. I’ve been around athletes all my life. I have been around boxing quite a while and I know what it is. I just feel I can look at a fighter and see what it is that he needs and see what it is he is trying to become.”
As for his prediction?
“I expect Sharif to be crowned new world champion,” said Hudson without pausing to answer. “He’s got the skills to pay the bills, like Floyd always says.”
You can email Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gabriel_montoya and catch him every Monday on “The Next Round” with Steve Kim. You can also tune in to hear him and co-host David Duenez live on the BlogTalk radio show Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com, Thursdays at 5-8 p.m., PST.