Glamorgan Cricket players developed a new fighting spirit in their pre-season preparations – by training with a world champion boxer.
The squad was taken by Coach Matthew Mott from their hi-tech SWALEC Stadium home to the more earthy Welsh Valleys base of Joe Calzaghe.
His remarkable gym, a converted rugby club in Abercarn, Gwent, has produced fight-game stars such as cruiserweight Enzo Maccarinelli and lightweight Gavin Rees. It’s run by Calzaghe’s father, Enzo.
Stars such as England internationals Robert Croft and Simon Jones took part in gruelling sessions of fitness and sparring.
Unbeaten super-middleweight Calzaghe, who hung up his gloves four years ago, said: “The cricketers’ season starts in April – after going through this routine, it might take them until then to recover!
“The regime my father put them through is an everyday thing for boxers so it’s good for our guests to see this aspect of the sporting world.”
Glamorgan skipper Mark Wallace said: “We were out of our comfort zone, running up steps and ducking under railings – it was very old-school, a bit like Rocky.
“Enzo certainly has his own methods and we had a few kicks up the backside along the way. It’s worked for him, Joe and the other champion boxers in their stable so hopefully it’ll be good for us, too.
“After two months of full-time training, mainly at the SWALEC’s indoor school, our trip to the gym was a great change.”
Mott said: “It was hard work for our squad but they fronted up well. Getting away from the comfort zone can be really useful and, credit to the players, it was their wish to experience other ways of doing things.”