"All I gotta say is these guys better watch out. As Danny says, you can give him all of the training in the world, his dad can tell him how to fight, and you can give him all of the education there is to know about fighting, and I can give him all of the physical exercises as his strength and conditioning trainer, but at the end of the day, it's the fighter that has to go in there in fight," stated Strength & Conditioning coach Tony Davis, who talked about his work with unified jr. welterweight champion Danny Garcia as they prepare for the upcoming showdown with former champion Zab Judah. Check out what else he had to say!
PC: How is everything going my man?
TD: It's going real good, man. We are excited about the things that are coming. We got the best in the world and things couldn't be better right now.
PC: Whenever I see a young, explosive, and powerful fighter like Danny Garcia, I always like to know where they get it from and what makes them tick. You being his strength and conditioning coach, you understand what makes him go come fight time. Tell us about it.
TD: Well, if you asked where he gets it from, Danny is supposed to tell you he gets it from his mom (laughing). It comes from his mom's side. But the truth about Danny is he is just a pure, natural athlete. The drive is there and the natural God-given ability is there. I just help enhance them. Whenever we attack our training regimen, we want him to be as strong as he can possibly be and make sure he can last and outlast his opponents. What that means is while he's sparring and training, I need to know what muscles he's using and what body parts he's using. Where is that power coming from? And those are the things we attack. We don't necessarily do what everyone else does; your basic boot camp style training camp. We don't go through that. We go through things that are a little more detailed than that. From resistance to plyometrics to weight training, light weight training, calisthenics and cardio, you name it and it's there.
PC: It's obviously been paying off. For this fight with Zab Judah in particular, I know you guys will train hard like you do for every fight, but knowing what you know about Zab, even Angel called him a 4-round fight,er, so do you go at this camp thinking you have to survive the early onslaught and then have enough in the tank to take him out late?
TD: Well that's where that strength and conditioning comes to play. There are certain body parts, and I don't want to go into detail as to what body parts they are, but you have your legs, back and core and things that are just as simple as that. It's not good to just have strength that only lasts for about 30 seconds for 3 to 4 rounds. You have to have strength, power, and it has to last and you have to be able to sustain it. So for me, I want to push him harder than he has to work in the ring and make sure that when he's tired, he can go a little bit more. And if I can't break him down, I have to find some way to break him down. I need to make sure that he's being pushed way beyond what he's going to have to endure in the ring. So when he gets to the ring, it's like his body is waiting for that extra push to come and it will come. That's when that work comes to play. These guys train for an 8-round fight, 10-round fight and a 12-round fight. We train beyond that. We go a little bit more and that's where that's going to come into play.
PC: I have been speaking with Danny for quite some time and just knowing what kind of guy he is, how good of a feeling is it to see him get this success and the attention he has been getting?
TD: Ah man, you know, where do I start? Danny is one of the most kindhearted people in the world that you can get to know. Outside of boxing, just a good-natured guy that you can't find in other people and I think that's what makes Angel Garcia that much more special to him. Angel always says, "We're one!" They are connected. Danny is open to everyone, kind to everyone, and gives everyone a chance, and Angel is that hard balance that makes sure no one takes advantage of him. Angel sees things that he might not otherwise see coming until later. So knowing that he is a good kid that came from the inner city and the hard knocks of life, and kept his head up and kept his faith in the ring and the faith in his family, man, this is the best thing that can possibly happen to him. When you see Danny, he's not with a posse. He's with family and close friends. He's with people that matter to him and a lot of guys can't say that. As he continues to go in the path that he's on, he's not gonna have to worry about giving back to those people from the streets and guys that tried to do things for him in the street and thinking that he owes them this or that. The only people he owes is himself and his family and the friends that were there with him. That's a special moment because they have been there and they are with him; no one is there with their hand out saying, "Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie!" He's all focused on boxing and not worried about gold diggers and back sliders and things like that. He's in a beautiful place. There are people out there who are there to make a difference in other peoples lives and Danny is a life changer for many people that are in his life; his families lives, my life, I mean, he's a life changer. And to actually point to somebody and know somebody like that, that's a special thing.
PC: Is activity the key for you as his strength and conditioning trainer, because for a world champion he is pretty active? Does that make your job easier as opposed to getting him off of a 7 to 8 month layoff?
TD: You know what? In a sense, it makes it I won't say easier, but it makes it more apparent. You can see the difference because when he's fighting every 3 or 4 months, the body peaks. So it's a fine line to make sure that you don't over-work him and over-train him and don't do different things that aren't necessary to his success. You have to find that fine balance to keep him sharp and keep him strong and lasting longer. In each and every fight, you have to tweak that and change that. Our regimen might include the same type of workout discipline, the same type of focus, but the exercises change, the intensity changes, and the duration changes. Multiple things are changing depending on how well his body has adapted to it. I think fighting every 3 or 4 months helps him the most because it keeps him sharp. He never gets too far out of shape, his body stays sharp, and he's a naturally gifted athlete, so it's very easy to turn it back up, but it's also very easy to let him down and push the body to the limit where he can surpass his last performance. It's real easy to sit back and say, "Ah, he's there already. He's good. We don't have to do this and that." No, we have to make sure that each time he's broken down...that's important part to our training performance is to break the body down and then allow it to recover. That's the job of a trainer, to break the body down all the way to the end and you can't have your fighter ready to eat when it's time to fight. You have to know what you are doing. And for the long period that I've known Danny, I know him. I know what doesn't work and what does work. It's a good relationship from that standpoint.
PC: Is it tough to compete in a world of strength and conditioning coaches where PEDs is such a big part of the training? Or when you have a naturally gifted athlete like Danny Garcia, is it not even a thought?
TD: Right. I always say that it doesn't matter if you are 8, 48, or 58, I will find what your body needs and I will make it work. It helps that Danny is a natural athlete, but again, you can fall into that trap of not pushing him to his limits and not taking him to that next level. So it helps that his body can endure the punishment and that he has the will to drive past the pain and do all of the things that I ask of him. If I can't get him to break at some point, then I know I'm letting him down and I know that I'm not doing my job. So a natural gifted athlete is a good thing, but it's also something you have to be cautious of and worry about because they do have to be pushed. But we will always be all natural.
PC: I wish you guys the best of luck against Judah in February. We will speak more as his camp progresses. Is there anything you want to add in closing?
TD: All I gotta say is these guys better watch out. As Danny says, you can give him all of the training in the world, his dad can tell him how to fight, and you can give him all of the education there is to know about fighting, and I can give him all of the physical exercises as his strength and conditioning trainer, but at the end of the day, it's the fighter that has to go in there in fight. And that's the one thing you can't put into someone. I can't put heart into Danny. I can't put desire or will. I can't make him do any of those things. Angel can't make him do any of those things. That's his natural God-given ability; physically and mentally and spiritually. He's there and he knows what he has to do and he knows better than anybody. When you are failing at something and you look back and someone asks you how come you couldn't do it? Why weren't you able to get past that? And you say, I don't know? But the truth of the matter is you do know. You are the only one that knows, and Danny knows boxing and his body and his God-given ability, and he takes that into the ring each and every time. And we are just glad to be a part of it, man. Like I said, he is blessing all of us and we're there. When he's in the ring, we're there. He got love and family around him and he has everything he needs to continue to compete. He has a great management team and a great promoter and he's on top of the world. It's like everything is lined up for him. Its writer in the stars and all he has to do is go in there and execute and do well and that's the easiest part because he wants it.
[WRITER'S NOTE: FightHype would like to thank Chris Banks and his company, Banks & Ross.]