Swindon-trained ‘Sniper’ Sam Smith continues his training diary for the Swindon Advertiser ahead of his participation in the Ultimate Boxxer II event at The O2 on November 2.

IT’S BEEN a tough week of training, getting plenty of sparring in at Paddy Fitzpatrick’s Gym.

I’ve been sparring with all different weights, getting a mix of everything. There’s been plenty of rounds with light-heavyweights, cruiserweights and even welterweights like my Swindon teammate, Ryan Martin.

It’s good to spar with lighter weights because you know your opponents won’t be as quick, so if you can catch them, then you can catch light-heavyweights.

Sparring heavier weights, like cruisers, is also good work, because it tests your concentration, as you have to watch out for their big shots, so can’t afford to fall asleep with them opposite you.

It is a slower pace, so you get a speed advantage, but it’s also easy to lose concentration when the pace is gentler and can easily switch off, and if you do, you catch a bigger, heavier shot that you really didn’t want to take, so can’t afford to lose any awareness for even a single second.

The Ultimate Boxxer competition will be all about concentration as I know my opponents will empty the tank in every round.

It will be extremely high-paced and explosive, so I’ve got to be smart, focused, box clever behind the jab and follow everything up behind that.

It’s why I’ve been training lots on the Wattbike, which is a horrible piece of equipment.

It’s designed for athletes and is absolutely brutal. But then, it’s all hard, every aspect of boxing is mentally and physically demanding.

The Tabata technique is the perfect format to suit my training, which involves 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off.

It can be applied to absolutely anything – running, skipping, bag work.

You basically go flat out for 20 seconds, then have 10 seconds rest. I do this for four-minute intervals, so with the rest periods taken away, you’re working at a high intensity for a three-minute round.

I’ve felt sore this week after such hard work, so recovery is important – I always have a protein shake within 20 minutes of the session finishing. I have a warm shower when I get home and always stretch before bed.

Then I wake up in the morning and do it all again.