RAF

Tenerife Training: How RAF Boxers Are Getting In Shape

The service's elite boxers have been to an overseas training camp to help improve their performance ahead of the Inter Services.

The Royal Air Force are preparing to improve on their performance at last year's Inter Services boxing championship by training in Tenerife.

The Royal Navy were crowned champions last year, claiming the title after 35 years of Army dominance.

However, the Royal Air Force saw its best ever return with three finalists and two Inter Services champions.

In 2015 the RAF started taking their elite boxers abroad again, and these overseas training camps have seen a major improvement in their performance.

(Picture: RAF).
(Picture: RAF).

Speaking in Tenerife, Squadron Leader Andy Parker said: "September 2015 we came out to this exact facility for our first overseas training camp in, I believe it was ten years.

"So it has gone full circle, and the development along the way has been phenomenal - not only with the boxers but the coaches, the structure of training, and it does help when you have got such experienced boxers like we have out in this training camp.

"I honestly believe if the preparations go smoothly, we will definitely be in the running for three or four wins on UK Armed Forces Championship finals night."

Senior Aircraftman Ricki Lyon may well be one of those boxers that the coaches will be looking to for victory on 28 March.

The bantamweight fighter was impressive when he won both in 2015 and 2018.

As well as sparring in the ring, the boys have made the most of conditions with running some training sessions outside (Picture: RAF).
As well as sparring in the ring, the team has made the most of conditions with running some training sessions outside (Picture: RAF).

Senior Aircraftman Lyon commented: "I think I have got the same lad as I boxed last year in the semis, so hopefully [I will] just get the win again and push on to the ABAs after that."

As well as sparring in the ring, the boys have made the most of the conditions by running some training sessions outside.

Boxing in Tenerife
These overseas training camps have led to an improvement in their performance (Picture: RAF).

"We have got a hell of a good group of boys out here with us. And all different levels of experience. Most of us are elite boys, some having 60 or 70 bouts," says Senior Aircraftman Brad Axe.

"So that for us, to all work together and get the sparring in together, go out running together and just general chit-chat about boxing - it is really good for us."

Alongside the elite boxers are a number of development athletes looking to make the step up.

In 2015 the RAF started taking their elite boxers abroad again (Picture: RAF).
In 2015 the RAF started taking their elite boxers abroad again (Picture: RAF).

Corporal Nathan Hall said: "I know I have got the skill, got the ability to win the UKAFs.

"It is just whether being out of boxing or my training for a little bit - just going to see how this camp goes.

"I am really pushing for the UKAFs this year - I will be boxing at 69 kilos, so yeah depending on this camp, depending on whether I am in, so I am going to be looking to be impressing the coaches and impress for myself as well, work hard and do the job.

"I think every boxer knows when they are ready or not.

"You all know deep down when you get in that ring whether you could have done more, whether you could have done less in the build up to it.

"So I think every boxer knows on prep whether they are ready or not, and I am looking for that moment this week and hopefully get the UKAF at the end of March."

The RAF they face off against the Royal Navy and the Army on March 28.