Replicate to succeed
There have been numerous reported instances of fighters doing things in the build-up to fights that mirror what they can expect on the big night itself. This can be as simple as sparring at similar times of day as the bout or inviting a sizeable crowd to watch sparring to help recreate that big-fight atmosphere. Team Cotto take things a step further by attempting to emulate an entire fight day – every Saturday. This enables the fighter and his back-up crew to become accustomed to the routine they will perform on the day and not find anything alien to them.
“We try to simulate like a fight day,” MacMillan revealed. “He’ll wake up, have a breakfast… we get him into the same routine where he’ll have a fight. We do that six or seven times in a camp. Everything in high-level sports is conditioned reflex, you have to make them simulate as closely as possible what they’re going to deal with in the actual fight. The more you can get them to adjust to that beforehand, the more mentally prepared they are.”