Fatigue Management – Outpace & Outlast Ward v Kovalev 2

Photo Courtesy BoxingScene.com Radio Rahim


Concord, Ca – Leading up to the Ward V Kovlaev 2 fight much was to be said about Kovalev’s improved conditioning and stamina. HBO’s  24/7 even featured his training at altitude with a russian biathlon coach. Conversely ours explosive. Check it out HERE were at 17:09.

His manager Kathy Duva stated that he was much improved in his endurance. She loosely states the first fight was a sprint and boxing is an endurance sport. Well yes and no. I see boxing as intermitent sprinting. It takes some of both. Liken it to high intensity and low intensity intervals with a one minute rest. To solely rely on the aerobic system (endurance) is a recipe for disaster. It’s your anaerobic system (speed/power) that allows you to burst repeatedly. Boxing is a speed and power sport and developing the anaerobic energy system is paramount.

I’ve read Kovalevs strategy was to quicken or push the pace from the onset. Well if your working faster than you normally do and dont train at that pacing for a significant time (acclimate) period prior to the event regardless of how much aerobic training you have you can’t maintain the pace and thus fall subject to fatigue.

“Listen, I respect Sergey and we text each other back and forth sometimes… Andre Ward figured him out in the first fight, and knew that he was stronger and had more endurance when it got late in the fight – which is the mid-rounds where you seen Sergey breathing and holding more than he’s done in any other fight.
– Bernard Hopkins Commentator Former World Champion

Which gets to where we SHINE!

Aaron Thigpen’s Fatigue Management Training

Most athletes and trainers chase an unrealistic view of “super training” thinking that if they get in even better shape they wont “gas out” or “fatigue”. What??? Reality check everyone gets tired regardless of how great of shape your in. We differ from most in that we accept fatigue as a part of athletic performance and we institute a philosophy and process to address it. For seven years I’ve been working with Andre Ward and other fighters and the opposition always boasts about how hard they’ved trained, better shape than us, best camp ever etc etc. We dont doubt that, we train hard too, however our focus is how we handle that training load. Does our execution, focus, technique and physical prowess start at a level 10 at the beginning of a workout and drop to a level 4 once fatigue sets in, our do we drop from a 10 to a 7. In both fights Kovalev fatigued poorly. In the early rounds a 10 after the 5th round down to a 4. Andre went from a 10 to a 7. Both were under the same conditions, smawe pace, punishment, but Adnre handled it better. What appeared as if Andre was getting stronger was in reality Andre was maintaining better.  Its an addage most track sprinters can identify with, all things being equal its he who slows down the least that wins the race. 

Of course we get tired we may even be more tired than our opponent in some instances but we handle the fatigue better.

Fatigue Management is the “preparation” and “rehersal” of the appropriate responses mentally, physically, technically and tactically to fatigue. Remember the real training doesnt start until your under fatigue. My old track coach Rhan Sheffield had a hardcore slogan: “What Most Call Hell, We Call Home”.  On the HBO 24/7 special I stated in a more zen like way: We train so that “Were comfortable, Being uncomfortable” take it either way.


Want to learn more about Aaron Thigpen’s process of “Fatigue Management” or Gamespeed Sports Training give us a call at 925 513-8676 or visit our www.gamespeed.net.

Post Fight Interview: Andre Berto talks he knew, we train at Gamespeed “others can’t handle our pace”Kovalev,