Inside KSI’s brutal training regime to prepare YouTube star for Logan Paul rematch – The Sun
KSI has been brutally broken down and rebuilt for his Saturday night YouTube decider with Logan Paul – and SunSport should know.
All of the hard work for the rematch of the white-collar August 2018 original is done with just media duties and intimidation left on the menu.
All the skipping, strength and conditioning and sparring was done not in the glitzy fight setting of Los Angeles or even Floyd Mayweather’s tourist hotspot Las Vegas gym.
The real graft was done in the beautifully basic West Ham Boys Club under the guidance of 22-year-old Mayweather-promoted East London cruiserweight Viddal Riley and his coach Leon Wills.
It was in the iconic old venue that Watford’s 26-year-old internet millionaire was honed into a professional boxer capable of knocking out sparring partners by the young trainer.
Just days before the KSI upped sticks for the US, SunSport went for a training session under 3-0 pro Riley and experienced first hand what Olajide Olayinka Williams has been put through.
The walls of the gym tucked in the shadows of Plaistow station are decked with photos and cuttings of celebrated fighters past and present.
Next to a newspaper report on Riley winning an Elites tournament are dozens of column inches on Caroline Dubois, one of Britain's brightest rising talents of either sex and in any sport.
Upon arrival, KSI has just finished a session, but instead of shooting off to a West End film premiere or filming another video for his 20.5million subscribers, he sat among the swinging heavy bags and young prospects soaking up as much knowledge as he could.
Riley quickly explains that he has no time for doing any of the fun stuff like pad work or heavy-bag hitting, without a serious blow-out first.
KSI and any other novice fighter can look a million dollars when they are fresh out of the changing room so a mean welcome of skipping, sit-ups and burpees is the ideal way to get the heart racing.
If the rematch, minus headguards and in smaller 10oz gloves, enters the fifth and sixth round then KSI will need to have an engine to match the former high school wrestler.
Skipping, sit-ups, burpees, repeat, repeat and again.
KSI’s muscles might look nice but they have been earned the hard way if his trainer’s friendly greeting is anything to go by.
Suitably shattered, KSI will have gone through a range of combinations on the pads with Riley and Wills.
YouTube is currently awash with videos of fighters like Mayweather and Anthony Yarde doing combinations with dozens of light punches and pre-planned blocks.
But Riley, despite working regularly at the Mayweather gym and being promoted by the undefeated legend, prefers a more concussive approach.
The strict taskmaster said: “A lot of people do pads a lot of different ways.
“We try to do pads to simulate sparring and fighting. It is not boxercise at the end of the day.
“We’re trying to do things that are fight relevant”
Paul, 24, insists he has been knocking out professional fighters in sparring sessions under trainer and former heavyweight champ Shannon Briggs.
But, while the vlogger has definitely beefed up dramatically since the first fight was called even, there has been little proof of his new viciousness.
KSI however has been filmed flattening a rival and his main sparring partner is probably a big reason behind that.
Riley revealed: “Me and him spar a lot because I am the size as Logan, we are all cruiserweights and I am better than Logan will ever be, so it’s ideal sparring for KSI.
“When I spar KSI, I have to hurt him because if I don’t then this YouTuber can go around saying he hurt me.
“I always prove a point and send him home knowing he cannot compete with me.”
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