Former IBF middleweight world champion Sam Soliman has revealed the extra training St Kilda star Jack Billings undertook during the pre-season.
Billings, 23, approached Soliman to do some one-on-one work in a bid to take his football to the next level.
So far in 2019, the former No.3 draft pick averages 29.3 possessions and four tackles per game from the opening three rounds, a significant improvement on the 21.9 he averaged in 2018.
“I did a training camp for him and his club St Kilda for an eight-week program, and then after we finished he came off his own bat and said: ‘Sam, I would like to continue one-on-one if you’re ok with that?’” Soliman told SEN Afternoons.
“It wasn’t paid for by the end, he paid his own way for that part because he wanted to be the best that he could be.
“I just said to him that: ‘Mate, that’s the one percenters that make the difference’.
“After another six weeks with him; two sessions a week, I did a 12-round session with him just to get him in the mental state of knowing he can do 12 rounds of boxing with a world champion and be able to do what he does.
“He did it and did it really, really well … went the whole 12 rounds … was absolutely spent, he was crawling out of the ring, but loved every minute of it.”
Soliman, 45, has won 45 fights from 62 bouts across several weight divisions in a distinguished 20-year career.
Listen to Sam Soliman's chat on SEN Afternoons with Jack Heverin in the player below