The WBC and IBO Welterweight Champion of the World, Tulz “Evolution” Mbenge sheds light on a champion’s mindset. We discuss his physical preparations for a title fight; as well as the mindset needed to be the best in the world.
Preparations for fight
How long before a fight will you start training?
- It really takes a lot of hours and it’s never enough time. And as for the time frame, I don’t really focus on that, I just train immediately after my fights so that I don’t lose that momentum and the level of fitness.
Is the preparation the same for all fights or do you tailor your prep for the fighter you’re fighting next?
- It is not the same obviously, you have to tailor your prep for the kind of opponent you’re looking at. I mean every fighter is different so you can’t risk not changing the way you train.
How does your diet differ from normal training to training for a fight?
- Diet is not a major thing to me, I focus a lot on eating clean. I place the biggest emphasis on hard work so nothing can replace hard work! Nothing.
Mind-set before a fight
How are you getting into the zone for the fight?
- Going into a fight your state of mind is really one important aspect. I try by all means to listen to positive music and watch more boxing that makes me effective and my sparring takes me to my zone.
Are you watching videos of your opponent?
- Yes watching videos just to see what kind of style they have is important, but I only watch videos now and then, I mostly focus on myself and let them worry about my style because I know I get better with each and every fight.
Would you try to block out everyone?
- I don’t really block everyone out but I like having my own time because people can really give you a different kind of energy, I mean each and everyone of us have some particular people they admire a lot so I keep my circle small.
Mind-set during a fight
What are you trying to do mentally when the fight starts?
- When the fight starts I want to be calm and very careful because those early rounds are very dangerous to both of us! You want to get to know your opponent and feel them out, their power and how they take your power. So it’s more about feeling them but I get fired up from the first round because my coach always tells me that the fight starts from the first bell of the first round so I take it from there.
Will you ever switch your game plan during a fight? (Or have more than one plan?)
- Yes you change all the time, you have to adjust to the kind of style they have! Most of the times you prepare for a certain style and then you meet a different style so you change with each and every four rounds. So you plan your fight accordingly to four rounds.
When you land a solid shot, and the crowd is getting behind you…do you use that energy to pile on the pressure or do you block the crowd out?
- That does hype you up a lot but at the same time you have to be calm because sometimes your opponent will act like they’re hurt but they want to hurt you. So try by all means to stay calm and be selective with your punches and very articulate with your finishing.
And on the other hand, if you get hit, what are doing after that?
- When you get hit you take your time and don’t act on a rush. You’ve got to be calm and take your time until you recover.
From Tulz – “I want to take time and thank my sponsors they play a big role in my career, World Sports Betting, Sizanani Plastics, Intel’Veld, and Scribante.”