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James Power interview

by Shaun Kober
February 8th 2021

James is Ireland's youngest ever professional boxer, with a record of 5 - 0, with 4 knockouts.

During this conversation, we discuss his journey to join the Tiger Muay Thai fight team,... More

what does it mean to live life to the fullest train to your potential and perform at your best, leave nothing on the table. That's a non negotiable is that I strive to be better every day because if I'm not on top of my game, how is anybody else gonna follow me down the road? Keep demanding more of yourself to live up to that potential and to stay hungry. Training is progress, you know, when I look at the word training, I think of steps, baby steps to get somewhere that you want to be and that is basically your life journey. It's a mindset in itself man, it's like, it's not just about, I know that for you, a lot of that's about the physical, but we're constantly in training, whether it's growing our skill sets, whether it's growing our physical bodies, whether it's growing our relationships, whatever and all of that is a training ground and that kind of goes back to the mindset that we just talked about, You underestimate yourself and you don't even start, but then once you start, you often surpass what you thought you could do, perform at your best mate. That's that's sort of what life is all about. You don't have the knowledge and have the fitness, the healthy ambition and drive that no matter what comes along.

When that next phone call comes, I can just say yes, I don't have to worry, just go and do it. Hey guys, welcome to today's episode of the live transform podcast, I'm your host, Sean Cobra and joining me today is a young lad who is on his path to becoming a world champion James Power is Ireland's youngest ever professional boxer with a record of five and zero with four knockouts. Um I haven't actually met him, he's in quarantine at the moment, making his way over to Tiger muay thai to come and train with us from Ireland Brother. Welcome to the episode mate, Welcome to the podcast. Thank you for having me on and I appreciate it. I'm looking forward to meeting you man, I've heard a lot of good things about you and I'm excited to um one meet you, but also have the opportunity to work with you and um have you as part of our fight teams. So very exciting how long until you actually get to Tiger and start training. So in five days I'll leave quarantine here in Bangkok, get the first flight you get and then once a month playing, get to work.

Nice, nice. Let's talk about that journey mate, why have you decided to come over to Thailand in the midst of a pandemic? So the pandemic through my whole career up in the air back home in Ireland, I was scheduled to move to Los Angeles permanently and before joke uh this coronavirus hit that put everything on hold and delayed that move. Um but it also, you know, quarantine, it put everything at a standstill back home. Um I switched my focus to like in George running during 2020 ultra marathon running, just to take my mind away from the sport because we're no fight um possible and you know, no opportunity to train or no way to train, no access to gyms or boxing bags or anything like that. I just needed something to focus on and you know, put my mind to and set goals and what I made myself a promise leading up to New Year's that I wasn't going to stay at home um for another year and you know, just wait for things to die down before I before I pursue um my dreams and in the sport.

So I decided to reach out to john Hutchison whose training in Tiger might try and just ask him about the situation over and one thing led to another and you know, I had to go out there and see it for myself. So I'm going outside of my tell you now joining, you know, the team training with coaches by yourself and just taking steps forward and moving closer to those goals, Man, that is so cool to hear that mindset that you've adopted um you know, working with what you've got rather than focusing on what you can't do, focusing on what you could do. Um and then taking a massive step what you're 18 years old right now and they're moving across 19 now. Yeah, all right, sorry, I missed that one slipped through the net, but that's a massive step man to be leaving home at 19. Moving across the other side of the world, you know, to go and chase your dream. Talk to me about that process like when did you start boxing? Um and talk to me about the journey and the lessons that it's taught you up until this point.

So I began boxing when I was nine years old. Um instantly I fell in love with the sport and just knew that this is what I wanted to do. Um I remember coming home um in those early a couple of weeks and just telling my mother that this is the life I want, this is what I want to do moving forward. And at that early age she told me um you know, think about it for for a little while and see if this is what she wanted to do because my family kind of has that mentality of if you're gonna do something, give it, give it all, you know, life's too short for half attempts, so if this is what you want, if this is what you're going to do, then you're going to do it to the best of your ability. Um but yeah, I just felt at home when I stepped into the gym, I felt at home and I stepped in the ring and I felt like that's where I belong. So 10 years under all now and we're still chasing that dream and just find a way to keep moving forward.

Yeah, amazing man, excited to potentially be a part of that journey and what your growth? Um I want to bring it back to what you spoke about before, for those that are listening that don't know too much about Tiger muay thai, john Hutchinson is one of our boxing coaches, um he's from Ireland as well, so there's obviously obviously the connection there um and john and I worked quite closely with Peter Yarn through the majority of his UFC fight camps um and particularly through his last one when he fought Jose Aldo for the title, john Boy is actually over in Miami in florida in training camp with PTR at the moment, before he faces Al jemaine sterling, so that's exciting mate, um what's your connection with john boy? That's where irish um that's it, yeah, you're irish lad stick together, that's it. Um yeah, so john is based in Tiger and you know, he has a lot of experience, um I know I can learn a lot from him, he's, you know, he's a world class coach, you just mentioned what he's achieved with one of his fighters, never mind the rest of them, so the train under him, it'll be an honor and I'm proud to join the team.

Yeah, amazing man, what's your vision for your time in Thailand, like, what are you anticipating, what are you expecting from your training camps in Thailand improvement, I'm always seeking ways to learn and you know, see things from a different perspective, I believe, I'll get that in taking my tie. You know, there's a lot of different coaches, um, a lot of world class athletes and I can just learn something from everyone. Um, you know, continue to improve as a fighter. I'm young, I have a lot of years left in this game, A lot improvements to make, and this will be a massive opportunity for me to take a massive leap forward and just become a better boxer and a better person. Maybe that's an amazing answer. You flick through. Your social media have done a little bit of research and spoken to john boy. Um, and it seems like you've got your head switched on, man. Um, I want to ask, I want to put you on front street right now, who does your social media posts? Is that you, is that someone else? That's me?

Um, I actually feel strongly about that, you know, It's 100% of my control. I fall now with sponsors before because they're trying to take too much control of it and tell me what to do, but it's 100% me and it will always be me going forward. Yeah, man, that's awesome. If anyone hasn't seen James's instagram, go and check it out. I'll have it linked in the show notes. Um, good content and man, like I said, at such a young age, you seem to have your head switched on. so um good to see mate. Um let's talk about your plan in Thailand like you planning on living here long term or is it going to be like a year thing? How do you see that playing out? I'm coming over on a tourist Visa at the moment, which is, you know, I think with an extension, 90 days I'm going to employ to stay there as long as I can, you know, you know, it's going to take me a while to get the ball rolling again in terms of getting back to peak condition and fighting at the best of my ability. Once I get the ball rolling, I just want to keep that momentum fight as often as I can keep improving and you know, just keep moving forward.

Um As long as I can stay in Thailand and keep making those improvements would be more than happy to stay. But you know, if 2020 short design thing is not a focus too much on the long term goals and just focus on what we have right now and, you know, the immediate future. Yeah, man. Uh and that kind of ties into what I was just talking about your social media. Um and that was the post I was referring to when you're saying, you know, 2020 years, what it is and there's not much we can do about it, you know, it's it's behind us now. Um we could, you know, we need to look forward, we need to keep moving. So um that's an awesome attitude man. Um What I want to talk about now is the principles of Swiss eight. I'm actually an ambassador for Swiss eight, which is a proactive mental health program designed to allow people to Structure in the important things in their life and Swiss say it has eight pillars of health and wellness which are sleep, nutrition, time management, discipline, fitness, personal growth, mindfulness and minimalism. Now I know that you've been reading a lot of books over the last year um and focusing on educating yourself and building your knowledge and experience and that type of stuff out of those principles which one of those is most important for you at the moment, considering you're you are going through that lockdown period.

Yeah, each principle um impacts and other um they're all equally important to understand that the most is discipline because I think without discipline, everything else fades away is the foundation of everything in my opinion. And I had to choose one. I'll choose discipline. Yeah, cool man, let's talk about how you're using discipline right now, considering you are in quarantine, what are you doing to keep yourself disciplined? Yeah, so quarantine is a strange one because I suppose everything is kind of taken out of your control um at home discipline for me will be my nutrition, my training, you know, my recovery, all those things in here, there's only so much you can do, you know? Um I'm kind of just trying to stay structured, you know, reading podcast and working out exercising and managing nutrition the best I can and course, I think my discipline will speak for itself when I get out of Bangkok and get down to get, I love it, may um what's how did discipline?

How did that come to the top of the pile? Like, was there some moments in your life where you have progressively built that discipline? Or was there like a big moment where you're like, all right, I need to tighten, tighten the screws or talk to me about that process, How have you built your discipline? Yeah, so interestingly, um I think I had discipline from the beginning of my career from nine years of age, I kind of saw it as a way to pull away from the pack and step out, like stand out from the crowd. Um I saw so many people who were named the next best thing, um leave the sport and slip away due to a lack of discipline, they reach a certain age, you know, drink lights out girls, they all come into the mix and you see them missing a training session and then eventually leaving the sport. Um well, you kind of made a promise to myself that that never happened and discipline is something I can control and if I can control it, There's no real reason why I shouldn't be at 100%.

Um so from nine or 10 years of age, I made a commitment to myself, but I also kind of made it to my family, you know, they have shown so much support to me and you know, I'm grateful for everything they've done for me and if I wasn't disciplined. I'm disrespecting him in a way. Um you know, I dedicated a decade to my life to this sport, but so has my mother, so as you know, my sister for as long as um she's been helping me all those past coaches and you know, past training partners, I found out all of them know to stay disciplined as long as I'm doing this sport. Um so yeah, someone I had my whole life and it's, I'm so focused on moving forward. Mm man, that is so thought provoking dude, very well said, let's go back to some of your coaches training partners, et cetera because they've obviously seen some potential in you and they've guided you along the process, You've obviously built your own discipline there, um talk to me about some of the mentors and coaches and friends training partners and things like that, that have helped you along the way to get to this point where you're at right now, everyone has helped me along the way.

Um I kind of have a mindset of, you can learn something from everyone, uh each of us have her own life experiences, we've learned things we've made mistakes and if we can like take them on and use them in our own lives well, we're just going to improve um leaps and bounds my mother, you know, she stands above all the rest, she, I can't put into words how much he has done for me or how much it means to me. Um you know, I just, my my main focus in this sport is just to repay her in some way. Uh the rest of my family, my friends, my teachers, um you know, I spent the most time with them in my early life, um so that environment, just being in that atmosphere, you know, that has definitely impacted me. Um but recently books and podcasts, you know, I spent most of my time reading or listening to podcasts, um I definitely listen to one or two podcast today, joe Rogan, you know, he has had a massive effect on the person I've become, and I guess he is have on um so that has definitely impacted me a lot in the past few years.

Um and books, yeah, I found those during 2020 and you know, I'm obsessed with them there. That's awesome, man, that again, that's one of the Swiss Eight Principles is personal growth. It's constantly striving for excellence. It's constantly trying to improve yourself and build upon your current baseline and expand your knowledge and expand your horizons? So that's amazing, man, What are some of your favorite books that you've read in the last year, some of maybe the top three impactful books that you've read, top three, you can't Hurt Me by David Goggins, that's a powerful story. Um and I literally just finished that, like two days ago, man, that is a powerful story, it'll definitely impact everyone. The art of resilience by Ross Edgeley is another excellent book, a mix of sports science, philosophy and a journal of his swimmer in great Britain. Um another book that I just read in Lockdown um is uh Eddie Hearn's book, relentless.

Um it's a brilliant book, it's just kind of about the story of how he made a name for himself as a boxing from water and how much room was founded and kind of the mistakes he made and you know, things he's learned and he's after taking over the sport of boxing. So if you can do that and put it into words, it's just going to benefit everyone else. Um was there a pivotal moment that pushed you towards boxing? Why did you walk into the boxing gym and start training? So my uncle um was a trainer and he was running Macron boxing Club, which was a local boxing gym by me, The, the age, the star was 10 years old, through relentless annoyance. I got in there a year earlier and as I said, the moment I stepped in those doors, It just felt just felt like home to me. Four, just my family were involved in it. It was something that every young kind of kid around where I lived and uh in my family just tried out at one stage, but I took to it a little differently from the rest and yeah, I just devoted my life to it and didn't look anywhere else.

Did you notice straightaway or was their coaches or people in their notice straight away, the way that you moved and um the way that you're throwing punches in the way that you were just conducting yourself, that were like, hey man, you should really follow this up or was it something that you just decided that you want to pursue and then started putting the time, energy and effort into it. So I definitely didn't have any God given talents or natural abilities or anything like that, I wasn't blessed with extreme skill or um just anything extraordinary, but I had a great work ethic, um had focus, uh this is where discipline played his part and I had great, you know, um I kind of always wanted to be the last man standing as such, I wanted to be the first person in the gym and I wanted to be the last to leave and if we were sparing, no matter what happened, I wanted to get to that final bell or you know, take them ahead of it before the final bell, um that mentality that mindset that caught the eye of the coaches and my training partners and things like that, but there was there was definitely no standout abilities at an early age May, that's so many of those things that you just listed, they're very, you either have it or you don't have, it's very difficult to teach.

So starting with that attitude, that mindset going into it like, you know, and then building the skills and the drills around that attitude, I think that's a recipe for success B share time. Thank you. Yeah man, I'm looking forward to seeing your growth and getting to work with you. You've never actually worked with a strength conditioning coach, you're saying to me, is that correct? So um in the past year, well since I turned professional, I was in school in cork when I turned professional and the closest professional boxing gym um would have been like a couple of hours drive away, so I was training myself monday to friday bag work drills, um strength and conditioning um you know, sprints and just doing that alone and then on Saturdays traveling, um you know, four hours to Dublin to train with the coach and get some aspiring in with some teammates.

I worked with Declan Garrity originally and then P taylor more recently who his father of Katie Taylor. Um but the majority of the time, five out of six days, I was training myself when I done my training camp in Los Angeles and then came home, I was training myself at home. So a lot of the work has been done by me, which isn't exactly ideal, you know, structuring your own train and doing things like that, but it made me once again learned, you know, I had to research, how do these things have to read about them, listening to podcasts and I've been tailoring my own um, nutrition, my own train, ignition and managing my own training demands for the past couple of years. That's really cool. Um and you know, how do you feel about handing the reins over to other coaches to help you with nutrition and help you with strength and conditioning, help you with all of the other aspects, um, considering you've learned about, you know, you've educated yourself on all this stuff and you put your own processes in place and um figured out what works for you, like how do you feel handing the reins over to other people?

I'm completely open to it, I can't wait. Um you know, I'm not a specialist in any of those fields, um so it'll be great to experience what it's like to work with people are just top of their game, you know, um, and just learn from them as well? Yeah, man, again, such a, such an awesome attitude. Um let's go back to your professional debut, So you're training yourself prior to your pro debut, like how many amateur fights did you have? So, um I was training myself monday to friday, but I was working with a coach on the weekends, so I was still getting like told what to do and kind of little drills to do during the week, um but I can, yeah, but I can't have to make sure that I was giving it my all in those sessions and you know, make sure I'm doing my best at the rounds of the bags and make sure I'm running my fastest on the sprints, just little things like that. Um I had, I had, I think it was almost 100 amateur fights are just over 100 amateur fights I've won, you know, my national titles, I had a good amateur career, but I wasn't afraid to get in there and take a few risks as well.

Someone didn't pay off, you know, um in a bit larger tournaments against, you know, fighters that have gone on to win european, like gold medals and things like that. Um But yeah, I had a good amateur career, you know, I got a lot of experience from that and they made my professional debut? Yeah, before we go into the pro debut, can we talk about some of those moments that you just spoke about, some of the things that you might have done different and lessons learned and things like that. What are some of those things that you picked up on, that you reviewed and essentially went, if that happened, if I had that opportunity again, I'll do that different. So I always have my always said, I'm becoming a professional boxer, I never really focused on the amateur side of the sport and that was um influenced by my own mindset, but also from my coach at the time who was my uncle, he was always obsessed with the professional side of it. So, we kinda together saw amateur boxing as a stepping stone to the professional ranks, you know, um, achieving, you know, things at amateur level is, it's amazing, you know, uh, to even compete at the olympics is incredible, but it was never the path I wanted to go down, it was never my goal, um you know, I always wanted to be a professional boxer.

So with that mindset, I didn't fear like stepping up a few ways to fight an opponent or given away a few years or little things like that, because I wasn't too worried about the record, I wasn't too worried about the amateur sides in general, like, I just wanted to get as much experience as I can and you use that as preparation for when I did turn professional, and I knew that it would benefit me in the long run more on the shore. Mhm. For my listeners that might not know that much about boxing, what's the difference between being professional and amateur, So in the amateurs, you're younger first start, so you can start when you're 11 in Ireland and you're gonna be an amateur for as long as you want. Um, you have three rounds, uh, like max is through three minutes. Um, at a certain point it was all about points for, and so the amount of times I can touch you, convert, the amount of times you can touch me, it didn't matter how much damage was inflicted, it didn't matter like how severe the punches were.

Um, that has changed now and it's adopting more of a professional scoring system, which I like head gears as well. You have bigger gloves. Um, and you're wearing a vest when you turn professional, some of your safety teachers and safety equipment is removed. You know, you know, how gears, smaller gloves? Um, little things like not wearing a vest or talk. Um, you're, the only thing is going to make a difference, but it does, those gloves, you know, turn against her york's wall skin. It does make a difference. Just little things like that. And the professional game has more possibility. The epa mm hmm. And amateurs, it's only amateurs that can compete at the commonwealth games in the olympics. Right. Well, I, I don't know if professional boxers can compete at the olympics as of now, in order for trying to bring them in and they might be able to, but it's not something that professional boxers really do, You know, it's just a different different paths.

Mhm. And what made you decide that you wanted to go professional instead of staying amateur and potentially um representing your country at the olympics. So I grew up obsessed with professional boxers, you know, I grew up listening to stories, um, and I suppose respect wars professional boxers, you know, my grandfather loved um like Marvin Hagler, joe fraser, just the fighters that I wanted to put on, like, a war. I wanted to entertain the crowd and that's something that I'm gonna brawl with me in my career, you know, um I want to put it all on the line, I want the crowd to be entertained at the end of the night, um I always wanted to be a professional and, you know, when the opportunity presents itself, and, and I decided that, You know, I wanted to try something new. It was when I was 17 and I realized an Irish person had ever and turn professional before the age of 18, So I kind of decided, let's try and find a way to make this work.

And the only way I could do it was by obtaining a professional license before the age of 18, which is only possible in certain countries. Mexico being one of them, and because you can land in America and drive to the border, and you know it's a lot easier process than some of the other countries. I chose that the destination to turn professional, and, you know, it was just a matter of getting things organized, getting things together and then making the decision to leave the amateur games and join the professional ranks. Yeah, cool man. That's an excellent segue into your pro debut. Talk to me about that process going from amateur to pros and the difference between that, in your mindset, your preparation etcetera, and then talk me through um your pro career so far. So I turned professional at the age of 17 in Tijuana Mexico, I was just starting my final year of high school. Um so I would have been studying from my end of school exams. That's nuts man. But before um I sat in the classroom, I decided take a few days days off and head to Los Angeles from Los Angeles.

We drove down to the mexican border across the mexican border, met up with the commission, got a license, weighed in for the next day and then flew home the day after that and I was back in school um the day after I landed. So it was a quick trip, but I've done it again on my midterm break and then I had two more fights in Budapest and Slovakia before sitting my end of year exams. Um and ending school exams and then I had one more fight since then, before pandemic case in Mexico again. Mhm. Which organization you're fighting for at the moment. Yeah, so I'm not linked to any organization, but I always wanted that WBC belt. I've had my eyes on that for a long time. And, you know, I've spoken with WBC L A WBC Asia and recently WBC Russia. So that was surprising. Um, so I think it's only a matter of time before, you know, I bring that a WBC belt um back to Ireland and potentially back to Tiger might die too.

Yeah, keen man, keen. Um, what's the path look like to the top of those rankings? The WBC rankings? So in what way are you fighting at? So I find that super featherweight I was planning on dropping to featherweight before this whole time. Yeah. For my, for my listeners that don't know boxing, what waits for those, So super far away, it is 130 lb, which is, I think it's 59 kg. Um, so money. A small person, uh huh. But it's it's a packed weight division. You know, you have so many top athletes there, you step up one way division and shark infested waters at the top. But at the moment, you know, I could sit here and say, I'd love to fight this person and that person and call out all the big names, but it's ignorant for a young fighter. Starting with that, you know, I'm fine even know, I have to make a name for myself before these lads even look at me. Um I might know and believe that I can, you know, give them as good as they gave me, but it's just disrespectful to stack on them out, because they've invested more in the profession side of the sport.

They've dedicated more time and they've paid their jews, you know, they have a lot more skin in the game than me, um they've earned their spot, they've earned their ranking, and I have to do the same now, I have to earn my stripes, and the only way to do that is by, you know, continuing to build a record, grow as a fighter and put myself in the best possible place to get those opportunities when they do present themselves. Well, certainly, um that's something I want to talk about as well, because it's not that's not a common mindset from a lot of professional athletes, you know, a lot of professional athletes are calling people out and they're making a scene and they're trying to draw attention to themselves. So, you know, they could potentially get those opportunities like, what are your thoughts on um on that side of things, do you think people put on a bit of a front for the media to draw attention, bring people into fights and things like that. I mean, an easy example is Connor McGregor, right? You know, he makes, makes a fuss, draws a lot of attention, brings in a lot of viewers to the MMA world, does the same thing happen in boxing, and if so, what are your thoughts on that?

Yes, 100%. You know, you see so many fighters, a countless number of fighters trying to do that they can't do it, but they're trying their best to there are some that can pull it off and sound flawless. You mentioned Connor McGregor, he's the best at it, Floyd, Mayweather, you know, look at Pretty Boy Floyd, he was a different fighter. He was putting it all on the line. Well, he kind of had this persona as a baller and once he realized that he allowed us to take over and he blew that out of proportion, you know, um, he wanted to be the villain because people were paying to see him lose, poor people were paying. Um he switched from Pretty Boy Floyd to money, Mayweather again, it was a front, it was draw people in, it was to make people pay for tickets and to show up on fight night whether they were supporting them or not, he didn't really care, you know, um he wanted to get as much money as he could about this sport and retire.

How's he, he didn't take, you know, I can count on one hand how many shots he was hit with, that really rocked him. Um, McGregor, you know, he's probably the biggest name in combat sports at the moment, probably the biggest name in sport at the moment and he done it through, as you said, kind of putting on a front and speaking and, you know, just having this brilliant ability to draw listeners and draw all used to the sport and grab attention, but only certain people can do that and there's a lot of people failing at that at the moment. Um, I guess there and say, you know, do this to this person and you know, this, this person wouldn't last, this Mountie rounds with me, but people will see right through that because that's not who I am. I'm straight to the point. You know, if they gave me, we say Lomachenko tomorrow and we were talking about on the podcast, I'd say that man, you know, he's going to school me, like, his boxing ability is ridiculous.

But if I stepped into the ring with him, I believe in myself and I have full confidence that I'm going to beat him. So it's just a matter of knocking confidence mixed up with, I suppose being cocky, you have to be realistic, at the end of the day, these men are still levels above me, but I'm chasing that, you know, I'm going to compare myself to them every chance I get and I'm going to keep chasing them and if, you know, if they get complacent, I'll catch them. Um, and I exposed that complacency report until then I'm gonna have to earn my stripes and earn my place at the table with those fighters at the top. Yeah, man, that's a really good point that you make. Um, you know, there are people like yourself who do seem very humble and are just going to put your head down and, you know, chase those people at the top and um, let those, uh, you know, let those, let the other people talk sh it and draw attention to themselves, and then, you know, have everyone laugh when they fail or whatever. But then there's going to be like, someone like yourself, who might potentially be an underdog man, and I'm not sure if you're familiar with Australians, but Aussies fucking love an underdog.

These love people that are, you know, just as you're speaking man, I'm like, oh dude, embarrassing for you for sure, just because of your attitude, your mentality, and, you know, shying away from all of the other bullshit, trying to call people out and um, having that persona, but that's what it is. Like, it is a persona and it is a business. When you start getting too, you know, those bigger events and things like that, and you do need to play a little bit of a part to draw people in and things like that. How do you think you're going to react when you get to that point where you are um fighting in bigger arenas, you are fighting bigger names and the media is coming to you, and they're asking you questions, trying to draw things out of you, how do you think you'll react to that process? Yeah. So I suppose the more as you get, the larger arenas you fight on and the more publicity is going to come to you. I've handled it well so far I've had, you know, a few reporters trying to, I suppose put words in my mouth and draw an answer, but I've handled it well. When you get to the stage, you're going to have like opponents calling you rode or I suppose trash talking you.

Well, my, my response to that is I'm irish, I can, I can be the kid at the back of class, you know, shouting out insults. That's, that's like second nature to irish kids. Um, so I have faith that I can answer that pretty well when the time comes. Um, but I'm always going to be myself and I'm gonna be honest. And yeah, the sport, sport does, I suppose need personas and front by some people, you know, just to draw tickets and just to create some, I suppose suspense and entertainment in this because that's what we heard at the end of the day. We're entertainers. So everything you see is not is not the truth. Um, you know, a lot of these fighters that look like bad guys are some of the most humble people you meet. Um, so it's just, it's just something to bear in mind as well when I suppose you're hating on someone for what you see on TV or in interviews, it might be 100% then until we see you hating on someone that we like, that guy must be a fucking asshole.

Yeah, give me just you'll be coming back to this episode, like what happened? Uh huh. That's cool, man. Um Let's talk about some of the haters. Um you've got a pretty decent following on social media. Um obviously there's people in your corner that embarrassing for you that are helping you um you know, progress, your journey, progress, your professional growth and development, but I'm sure you've come up against people that are trying to shoot you down people that are trying to rubbish your name or drag your name through the mud or whatever. Like what's your how do you react to the haters? I don't react to the haters, simple as that. I don't give them any of my time or energy. Um if I see like a comment or a message, I'll open it, I'll read it. But am I leave it there? You know? Um If I don't respond, if I don't give it any of my time or energy, it doesn't affect me in any way as humans, we kind of have this built in kind of ability to just like obsess over the negative things, you know, it's beneficial because it's what kept us alive all these years.

But right now it doesn't really make sense. We see one negative thing out of hundreds of positive things and we obsess on it and well on a but I've always kind of focused on flipping out in his head if I have so many people support me, why, why give that negative person my time? And also, you know, I, I made my pro debut and I remember it, there was someone tweeting about me, a lot of hate, a lot of disrespect and he messes me that night and told me congratulations, that exact same person and I just kind of like instantly thought if he has so much time to do that in his life, there must have been much going on, you know, if you can focus on me so much, like he mustn't have much like the folks on his own life. So it was just kinda not like focusing on both kind of feeling sorry for him and uh you know, trying to see things from their point of view if they can never, like, I can never understand why people hate on other people.

Um so you know, I kind of more feel sorry for them than like uh feel feel anything myself. Mm Another great answer man, um as you grow as your name gets out there, as you improve, as you start fighting in bigger arenas, bigger opponents etcetera, those haters are going to grow that trash talk is going to get louder and louder and louder, there's going to be more and more and more of that, Are you prepared for that? Yeah. Um I think you kind of have to come to terms with that if you want to do anything in life, if you want to excel in any area, you're going to have people that don't want you to reach the talk, you're going to have people trying to pull you down, you know, it's just, it's just part of the game, so just about I suppose realizing that and coming to terms with it before it happens, and then when that happens, it's just another day you've already prepared yourself, you've already experienced this and you know, it's like water off a duck's back, it's not going to impact you in any way, brilliant man, I feel like you're so much older than you actually are, there's a good conversation bro.

Um let's talk about what you're, um let's talk about your mindset coming into Thailand and uh how important is mindset for you in your or how important your mindset has been in your growth in your development, in your amateur and professional career, and how important that is moving forward, mindset is something like focus on a lot and, you know, it's the foundation of everything without strong mindset, it's going to be exposed and everything else is going to fall apart. Um you know, when you're in, I suppose those uncomfortable situations in those difficulties, um if you have *** in your armor or it's, it's going to weaken everything else, you're not gonna I suppose have a mental strength and our resilience just to keep going, whether that's the spring session and, you know, it's the last couple of seconds and Your body is telling you to just stop just that mental strength and that bit of grit is going to separate people that get off that treadmill or slow down on that track, and people who give him 100% and keep pushing forward.

2020 is something that, you know, reveal that, I mean, everyone, it was adversity that, you know, impacted the whole world. Um, some people handle it better than others and, you know, I believe mindset help me so much that year and I'll just between just keep moving forward and find a way to work around, um not kind of letting it get to me. Mental health has been hugely, um I suppose uh important or incredibly important the past year, um it's been highlighted by everyone. Um you know, it's, it's never been talked about more and there's a reason for that, you know, it's, it's something that everyone should kind of take some time to build, not just for sports, not just for like a certain goal, but for everything for life in general. Um boxing has definitely uh help me in much more ways than just this fourth, you know, I spoke earlier about um my running in 2020 I switched to, you know, ultra marathon running and then George running and just building their mental resilience again, put myself in those difficult situations, you know, around a couple of marathons around a couple of 15 or 15 boilers and I finished it off with 100 kilometer run and I was just about getting out of my comfort zone and getting in those uncomfortable situations so that I'm just constantly growing as a person, constantly building on that mental resilience and just trying to get stronger and everywhere.

Mm man, you are sucking wise beyond your years. I've literally just finished recording a podcast episode with some other coaches. I run a coach's corner um where I talked to coaches and we just talk shop and that's something that we spoke about. One of my friends um recently ran 100 and 20 kilometers around Singapore and I was like, I'm doing it for my mental resilience and you know, that's the thing, man, like I'm ex army, um I deployed three times in six years. I went to Iraq East timor Afghanistan. Yeah, but uh you know, like the training is so important and you how you train yourself, how you condition your mind and your body in a controlled environment during training is going to carry over to an uncontrolled environment when you're on the battlefield or in the ring or in the cage or on the sporting field or whatever and what you said before is super important, man, I drill this into my fighters, I drill this into my clients, I drill this into myself about building that mental resilience. Like I did some a lactic conditioning work with my fighters this morning.

We're on the assault bike, everyone hates the assault bike, right? And I was like, we're going five seconds as hard as possible, five seconds on 55 seconds off here and doing this six times as 30 seconds of work. And I'm like, you do not start half a second late, you do not stop half a second early, otherwise there's only four seconds of work Now, you're missing like almost 15% of the training session. Like that adds up if you, if you're doing a sprint and you pull up short from the line that adds up, you pull up to a meter short, that adds up over, over that training session that week, that month, that year, that adds up over a career over a lifetime. And you know, I always say, man, like one of my favorite quotes is go the extra mile because there's fucking nobody there. 100%. Yeah, it's those little things will add up over time. Um, another book I read during 2020 was Atomic Abbott, and it was about the importance of those little improvements. No, if you can strip something and break it away into Like 1000 pieces and just improve 1% on each piece when you put it all together.

You know, it's so much different, it's so much better. And, you know, it will, it will show those little things, will show those little extra seconds on the treadmill or uh you know, every athlete hates what the assault by um it's going to show when you're getting under those lifetime uh fight night. Yeah man, and I want to reiterate that point, how you train, how you perform in a controlled environment is how you're going to perform in an uncontrolled environment. If you're taking shortcuts in training, nutrition, recovery, sleep hydration, et cetera, then that's going to affect your performance and funk. I'm 35 years old, I'm turning 36 I played in a rugby tournament um probably six months ago now, Player of the tournament, man had a really good competition, but I look after myself really well, you know, I still train really hard, but I need to prioritize rest recovery, hydration, nutrition, sleep, all of these other recovery mechanisms, because as you get older, you just can't get away with training, training as hard and training as a poorly without as much guidance without focusing on the recovery mechanisms.

Um let's talk about how you give me some examples of how you built your mindset, going through your training about, you know, not pulling up short not taking shortcuts and things like that. Give me some examples of what you do in the gym to condition yourself to that adversity. So I take a different approach, this was done, why coaches would recommend as such, a majority of my training at home wouldn't be sport specific because I'm not really in camp, You know, leading up to fights, it's completely different because that's all you're focusing on. You know, you're giving 100% of yourself to that fight and being the best of your ability outside the camp, I just wanna make myself as uncomfortable as possible in those situations. If that means getting up in the morning, you don't want to and going for a 15 mile run, I've done that, or like there's some crossfit workouts that are just like insane.

Like if you just read it, you're like that's gonna that's gonna hurt. Um and knowing that it's going to hurt before you do it is, it's a big thing, like psychologically, so when you start showing you put your hands in that bar, but and you say, okay, I'm in for like 20 minutes of pain Um and then when that clock goes and it strikes 20 minutes, you know, you've been in that cave and you've like you've made a little wider um it's a little easier staying there now, you know, uh they're not suffocating anymore. Um you have a little bit more room and when you show up the next session do the same thing, you're just removing another bit of work in that cave and then before long it's like home in there and, you know, if, you know, if other athletes haven't and dug that deep or done that in transition, you can bring them into those, I suppose deep places and they'll suffocate because they haven't been there in training.

So just knowing that, you know, sprints as well is a massive one. Um I didn't do sprints in the early part of my career um and then I suppose discovered the importance of it and just that kind of pain threshold um knowing that you can push out those extra seconds and it's just about finishing them to, you know, when you accomplish, um or when you accomplished, I mean when you complete a training session that's demanding and it's painful, it gives you some confidence to know that you can do that again, you know, if you line up the exact same training session, yes, it's painful. The pain doesn't change, but you can do it and you know, you can do it. So when you make a little harder and you keep doing that over time, we spoke about the importance of like those minor and it was advancements though, is that the seconds and if you just keep building on it, the difference between your first training session and your last training session is, you know, it's fast and, you know, I suppose the impact, the impact of that on, I suppose your physic like your physical appearance, it's easy to see, but on your mind and your mindset it's it's there too, you just can't see it, but you know, it's it's still incredibly important.

Yeah, man, great point. And again, I want to reiterate that I did recently speak on another podcast about conditioning yourself to adversity. You know, we need to do something uncomfortable every day to shift the needle and it doesn't have to be way out there, it doesn't have to be crazy, but something a little bit uncomfortable might be taking a cold shower or something. Um you know, go hot and then cold for the last 30 seconds or something. And if you do that every day then You condition yourself to be able to deal with that adversity and then once that becomes comfortable, then you shift the needle again and you do something a little bit more uncomfortable and that is literally progressive overload. And this sounds like something you've basically been doing your entire career since 11 years old man. nine years old when you start nine or 11. Yeah, that's awesome man. Um where do I want to go next? I had something on my mind just said, oh, talk to me about, you just spoke about sprints now for the most part, a lot of boxes and fighters in general, more tie fighters, I see this all the time in Thailand, you know, most of their aerobic conditioning comes from long road runs, where do you see sprints fit in?

You said you spoke about the benefits of them, like talk to me about what you felt doing sprints and how that translated to um your training and potentially your fights. Yeah, yeah, so I played around with my training, changed it um you know, so many times that it's very interesting to see the effect it has on your, your body, um the effect it has on your performance and the effect it has on just your ability to do certain things. Um you know, my, my early career, I didn't have friends when I turned professional um you know, the coach kind of told me the importance of it and you know, I kind of took that on and ever since I've been using sprints, um you know, I've done different types of sprint sessions, you know, 10 seconds on 10 seconds off, you know, I don't 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 30 seconds on 15 seconds off and just kept changing it up. But there's definitely a huge impact or definitely has a huge impact on me.

Just my ability to kind of increase that temple and just, I suppose, you know, the more explosive has definitely um in evident to me in 2020 I switched my focus completely to long and George runs, you know, I was clocking up over 100 families a week. Um, so my gas tank at the moment is ridiculous. You know, I got up in december on the morning of december 5th and ran for 11.5 hours. Um you know, my, my, my I suppose um aerobic gas tank is, you know, it's the best it's ever been, but like I was getting a trembling now and do sprints. It's a totally different ball game. Um you know, it's, it's gonna be a challenge because I haven't done in so long and join your body adapt. If you're doing sprints, it's going to adapt to that and if you're not doing sprints, it's going to adapt to. But thankfully, like I found out that kind of it asked pretty quickly.

So I like sprints. Um and I also like those long and George runs more mentally than physically for me because I find the same benefits out of long and George runs as I do. Um long days in the gym doing drills or doing bag work. I find the same benefit but sprints, I haven't find anything too, I suppose replaced Olga mm hmm, I'll find something for you mate. Don't worry about that. Um, let's talk about that because you obviously have been in lockdown or in quarantine for 10 odd days now. Um Coming up on two weeks. Um So that's thrown your nutrition off. That's thrown your training off. Um You are obviously a very disciplined person, a disciplined athlete which has brought you to where you are right now, but how has not being able to control those things over this quarantine period affected you.

I've definitely that I get to me more than I hoped. I knew coming into it, that I was going to be different and I was going to be strange, but definitely been frustrating, and I've kind of felt overwhelming at times, you know, I'm not afraid to admit that um not being able to control it, you know, I was I was overweight for most of my amateur career um when I found, I suppose the importance of nutrition and started, uh, well I learned how to manage my own nutrition, you know? Um I worked with a nutritionist, luego mani, who's based in car, he I suppose taught me everything I needed to know to handle it, and kind of installed that mindset, question everything and and all, nothing is as straightforward as the scenes and just keep learning for yourself as well, you know? Um the importance of nutrition, but uh you know, it's been, I suppose nutrition has been something that's very important to me.

I've been managing my weight, I've been in great shape since coming in here. It's all been taken away, you know, you can't manage your meals, your handed them, um you know, the hotel staff took them because I can't bring things from our side nous, it's been difficult to corporate, um but, you know, I'll get out and five days now we get down to e and get back on track, so it's good knowing that there's an end date and it's just around the corner? Yeah, how do you, what's your approach to getting out of quarantine and then um rolling into the gym and starting training, like, do you have a structure? Do you have a plan? Do you have a strategy to get back into the swing of things, considering you haven't been um on top of nutrition and training for a couple of weeks by the time that happens. So I haven't taken a break or like a long period off since I started this sport when I was nine or 10. So it's going to, it's a whole different experience for me now, getting back into, I suppose boxing and getting back into peak um, condition for boxing.

I haven't said a little, that's one thing that I think will stand for me, you know, I didn't sit around and get complacent during 2020, I stayed active, I stayed shape um and I kind of stayed ready, so I'm hoping that that pays off when I get into the gym and it's going to be a frustrating few weeks when the body is not doing exactly what you're telling them to do um when the way to pick up doesn't feel as light as it did, you know, when you were a friend um sports specifically the rounds in the bags, they want to feel a little bit longer, but you know, my, my work around my gas tank, I'll stand by that and I truly believe it's like, it's second to none. Um you know, I'll put it with the best up there and I believe that that's going to stand by me when I get into the gym and I'm gonna just take uh I suppose I'm just going to follow the lead from all the coaches there, john you know, I know he'll create a good program for me working with yourself.

I know you'll get me into a tip top condition and just the other courses as well, you know, Ive experiences before with fighters coming back. Um so it's a new experience for me, but it's like second energy at this stage and you know, I have full confidence that using me to where I need to go. Yeah, that's awesome man, I'm excited. Um We'll be working through some general conditioning, general physical preparation until and for most people that are listening, you know, there are some coaches that listen that understand period Ization, but there will be people that don't understand period ization. Um you know, for someone like you just to give an example would be going through a movement assessment and then we'd be working on structural integrity of the joints, mobility stability, then looking at strength as a base and then looking at power speed and anaerobic conditioning, considering you seem to have a fairly solid aerobic base. So um I'm excited to get to work mate, this episode will drop on monday, so you'll be arriving within the next couple of days by the time this drops just to round out the episode mate, the name of this podcast is live train perform which stands for live life to the fullest trains your potential and perform at your best.

What does that matter mean to you? Um just live in the moment, I appreciate everything that you have right now, while working for everything you want um prepare the best you can to give everything you've got, life's too short for half attempts, so go all in or get all out and you're going to perform at the best of your ability if you've prepared to the best of your ability. So you know the performance takes care of itself once you give a drawl each day in camp, good place to wind up mate, you don't rise to your level of expectations, You fall to the level of your preparation 100 where can people find you? So instagram is the platform, I use most of this platform, I I only use really um underscore James Power and you know that's where you'll find me and support my journey and I'd appreciate I suppose everyone that does that for me. Good man, I'll have that link in the show notes, thank you very much for coming on the show and for your time brother, I look forward to meeting you in a couple of days by the time this jobs and we will catch you at Tiger muay thai soon.

Thank you, I appreciate you having me on cheers bro. And that rounds out my conversation with up and coming professional boxer James Power. You can follow his journey at his instagram handle at underscore James Power also keep an eye out for the work that he does with myself and the other coaches at Tiger Muay thai as he joined the Tiger muay thai fight team. If you enjoyed this conversation, please pass it off to your friends and family and five star ratings and reviews are much appreciated. Much love guys, Peace.

James Power interview
James Power interview
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