Tony Bellew blasts 'con man' boxing coach over reckless training methods

Former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew has warned aspiring boxers to be careful about who they train with after a clip of the reckless techniques employed by one coach caught his attention on social media.

The footage concerned sees a gloved-up trainer unleashing full-force combinations to both the body and head of each of his students during an outdoor session – with none of them seemingly allowed to protect themselves in any way from the blows.

The theory behind the stomach-churning practice would appear to be to build up the trainee’s punch resistance. However, with all we know today about the impact of concussions on an individual’s long-term health, it’s tough to watch those involved take such unnecessary punishment.

The video begins with the trainer teeing off 11 times on a young fighter who is actually standing with his hands behind his back. The vicious volley of punches includes no less than five shots directly to the man’s head.

Two other proteges are then subjected to the same drill during the course of the clip. A fourth man can be seen off to the side of the camera, who presumably had to endure the same mauling, as the footage cuts off.

At no point is any protective equipment visible during the video, which you can watch for yourself below.

Video: Boxing trainer tees off on defenceless students during reckless drill

The lack of regard for the safety of those who have put trust in the trainer to look after them really is staggering.

Clearly appalled by what he had seen, Bellew quickly took to Twitter to condemn the controversial method and the man behind it, pleading with anyone connected to his gym to cut all ties immediately.

“Just to be clear this isn’t a training method it’s just STUPIDITY,” he tweeted to his almost 720,000 followers on Monday.

“You train and prepare how you fight! When do you just stand there and let someone tee off with 4/5 punch combinations? NEVER! If anyone in this video sees this message then please leave him! He’s a CRAZY CON MAN,” warned the 39-year-old Liverpudlian, who retired from the ring in 2018.

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As Floyd Mayweather Junior, widely accepted as the greatest fighter of his generation, once famously reminded the world: “The object of the sport of boxing is to hit and not be hit”. This wildly negligent training drill is the complete opposite of that mantra.

Hopefully, Bellew’s tweet helps to ensure that no other trainees are subjected to similar harm in the future. There’s absolutely no place for these sorts of practices in the sport.

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