When B.C.’s super-middleweight boxing champion wakes up at four in the morning to go for a run, he owes his militant training habits to his former coach.
Langara student Dave Robinson still doesn’t know who he’ll be fighting when he defends his title on Nov. 22 at the Italian Cultural Centre, but he isn’t worried. Instead of analyzing an opponent’s weaknesses, he sticks to a training routine that was drilled into him almost a decade ago by formidable coach Josh Canty in Windsor, Ont.
Victory in the early morning run
Canty used to call Robinson every morning before the break of dawn to make sure he was up for a run.
“But even though he gives you that call, it’s still your choice to get up and actually go for that run,” Robinson says.
“When you win, you’re obliged to everybody else, but when you lose, you’re by yourself,” he says.
These days, Canty no longer makes those early-morning wake-up calls. But Robinson still goes for that run.
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The boxer reflects fondly on the time he spent training in Windsor with Canty. “Those were the best summers of my life,” he says. “All I did was box and train.”
Robinson’s boxing club arranged for a group of young fighters to participate in Kansas City’s Ringside World Championships in 2002 and 2003.
The coaches did all the cooking and chauffeured the players around town.
“We felt like professional boxers,” Robinson says. “It’s what inspired the way I coach now.”
Ten years later, the roles have swapped and Robinson is now the chef for his young protégés during road trips.
“If you want to be successful, take away as much distraction as possible,” he says. “Everybody will have more fun and be more successful if they can stay focused.”
Strategy for a fight comes after stepping into the ring
As Robinson trains for his upcoming fight, he says that he waits until he’s in the ring facing his challenger to plan a strategy.
“I look for tendencies or patterns in an opponent and then try to manipulate them,” he says.
Robinson says he’s never been scared of another boxer although he’s been unsure about whether he’s capable of winning.
“But I don’t really have those doubts anymore because I know that anybody on any given day can lose to a lesser fighter or beat a greater fighter.
“Given that you’ve both done the work that you need to do to be there, sometimes it’s just whose day it is,” he says.
Tickets for Robinson’s fight during the Night of Champions on Nov. 22 at the Italian Cultural Centre are $100 and include food, beer and wine.
Reported by Jules Knox
VIDEO: Dave Robinson in preparation for his title fight on Thursday night.