ALTHOUGH the result will always mean it holds good memories for us, from a coach’s point of view I couldn’t have wished for better preparation than what Callum Smith experienced in Saudi Arabia before his fight last year against George Groves.
I have had plenty of fight weeks over the years, but none have been better than the week we spent there. Why do I say that? Well, because if you would have had Callum Smith vs. George Groves in Liverpool or Manchester or London the media commitments and people bothering them for tickets would have been mad. But the fact we flew out to Saudi Arabia on the Thursday meant we escaped all of that. We had a good couple of days training in the gymnasium and got to know the locals. The hotel staff were very accommodating, and they treated us like kings.
It was just ideal preparation. We were away from everyone and no one bothered us. We could go for walks without being hassled. We could sit around in the hotel without being hassled. It was great. I managed to get Callum Smith 100% focused and relaxed with no stresses.