Phoenix Camp phenomenon Josh Holmes is suddenly up against the clock

Strength and conditioning coach Colin McCash (left) with boxer Joshua Holmes
Strength and conditioning coach Colin McCash (left) with boxer Joshua Holmes

As a 23-year-old just finding his feet as a professional, Josh Holmes has all the time in the world to make a name for himself in boxing.

The former Eastburn ABC fighter was crowned national champion before turning over, beating Jerome Campbell on a split decision to win the 60kg final of the England Boxing Senior Development Championships.

The one-time undisputed Yorkshire champion, who won 24 of 29 bouts in the amateurs, is under strict orders to bide his time in the sport, a message that coach Robert Rimmer and manager Kevin Maree are keen to reiterate.

But while Holmes has time on his hands where his career is concerned, the lightweight fighter has recently found himself up against the clock after factoring strength and conditioning in to his training regime.

The Phoenix Camp phenomenon has teamed up with former paratrooper Colin McCash at Salute Fitness in Disraeli Street, Burnley.

The 42-year-old, a CrossFit competitor, has been putting Holmes through his paces ahead of his third pro bout against Taka Bembere at Colne Muni on August 31st.

Timed circuits have included prowler pushes, burpee box jumps, hanging knee raises, single arm dumbbell snatches, deadlifts, barbell cleans, shoulder presses, kettlebell swings, lunges, barbell rows, wall balls, bodyweight exercises on the Olympic rings and much more.

“It’s been slightly different, I’ve been adding strength and conditioning in to my training with Colin [McCash],” said Holmes.

“I’ve had four sessions with him now, but we’re not pushing it too much yet with the fight being so close. We’re only working with light weights really just to get me used to the movements.

“I’m already seeing a difference and I’m definitely in the best shape that I’ve been in so far leading up to the fight.

“It’s great, he’s so clued up on everything. It’s something that I’ve never really put in to my training before so this time around I’m feeling strong and ready to go.

“It’s those little movements, the explosive movements, that are helping. All those small muscle fibres are getting stronger so it will help with my power.

“We’re not putting too much weight on because we don’t want any injuries. We’re slowly building it up, but after this fight I think we’ll start pushing it. That’s when we’ll definitely start to see a bigger difference.

“I love a challenge, especially if it means I’m going to be performing better. I kind of thrive off it, even if it means I’m going to be putting my body through more pain.”