Chad Johnson tries boxing: How the former NFL star trained to fight with Brian Maxwell
Chad Johnson certainly didn’t take the conventional path to the boxing ring.
The former Bengals Pro-Bowl wide receiver has been out of organized football since a game with Fundidores de Monterrey in La Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional de México.
But on Sunday, Johnson will open the Floyd Mayweather fight card against Logan Paul with a four-round clash against hand-to-hand boxer Brian Maxwell.
How did Johnson prepare for the first, and possibly the only, boxing match of his career? Here’s a look at how he prepared for Sunday.
Boxing for years
Johnson has never entered a ring professionally, but that doesn’t mean the sport is new to him.
According to a report by ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, Johnson has been training boxing every football offseason since high school with the goal of helping his hand-eye coordination and footwork.
This training helped him grab the attention of Mayweather’s manager Leonard Ellerbe, who offered him the chance to fight on the ticket, Johnson told the podcast, I am an athlete.
“I wouldn’t step in the ring with Charlo or Canelo [Alvarez], but the opportunity arose to travel with someone who has skills and experience in the ring, ”Johnson said in the ESPN report. “I felt I was in pretty good shape and had enough experience to do it. With immense respect for combat sports, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. “
Sparring with the Charlo brothers
That wasn’t enough for Johnson to prepare for the fight just during the football offseason. He had to work with professionals.
And they don’t take it easily with it.
Johnson told TMZ Sports that he trained with twins Charlo, Jermell and Jermall Charlo. Johnson said in a recent round three session he was “in the middle of the ocean without a life jacket and I was drowning”.
Although he felt the punches of a pair of pressure boxers who won 65 games and lost just once, he said learning from them and their training partners helped him get ready for the next game.
“It was an experience where I was put to good use and that’s a good thing. Obviously getting in the ring with someone doing it at the highest level and learning from mistakes. I like it that way. Johnson said, according to TMZ. “There was no other way to prepare for something of this magnitude. I had to come here. It’s just – there is no other way.”
In addition to the physical and technical aspects of training, Johnson also makes sure he takes care of what’s going on internally.
the Orange County Register reported that he had been dieting before the show fight, cutting out McDonald’s – which had been a staple during his NFL career – and avoiding cigars for the past two months.
During the I Am Athlete podcast earlier in 2021, Johnson said he never injured himself because he ate McDonald’s regularly.