Flying out to Las Vegas to spend time with the Mayweathers, trainer Viddal Riley reveals all about KSI’s “intense preparation” for Logan Paul.
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The YouTube sensations settle their feud in Los Angeles on November 9, live on Sky Sports Box Office, over a year on from their hotly-contested draw.
Unbeaten London cruiserweight Riley, with a phenomenal social media profile of his own, has recently signed for Mayweather Promotions and is the trainer of KSI, but can he mastermind a spectacular win…
Firstly, just tell us a bit about how you and KSI came to be working together?
I used to train other YouTubers within the same community and ended up getting introduced to KSI when he was having a boxing match. I trained him from there and have done for about two years now.
Our relationship has been very good thus far. We both benefit off each other in very different ways, we’re from very different backgrounds as well, but we have a mutual understanding and both want to be successful.
Where do you train?
We train at the West Ham boxing club in East London which is where I boxed as an amateur. It’s a club I hold very close to me, it’s an honour bringing him down to train in the facility where I did.
And is the training intense?
He’s not training like a boxer starting out because he’s not, he’s had a few fights and has some experience. We’re not saying he’s an elite amateur or an elite professional or even British level. He is at a point where we can teach him more advanced things and he gets it, he is starting to perform it.
And does he do a lot of sparring?
I do a lot of sparring with him, we’re both cruiserweights, there’s no one better for him to spar really, and I can control things.
When you’re sparring novices, they’re going in for the kill, they want to prove they can fight and hurt you. I’m not in there to do that, I allow him the space to build and learn without taking too many hits and putting miles on his clock.
So what is KSI’s fighting style, has it changed over time?
He’s gone from being a counter puncher to being more aggressive and holding his feet. Because of the duration of a fight, he’s had to make adjustments. You can’t throw 500 punches in the first two rounds and then fall off. He is becoming more settled and more aggressive.
We keep it simple, not over-complicating things, you’ve got a tall guy in front of you, long arms, who likes to use his jab – it’s very simple – you go to him or make him come to you, that’s the plan.
And you’ve been out in Las Vegas?
We flew to Las Vegas for three weeks before heading to LA for fight week. Those three weeks will be a time he remembers forever, a very big push, adding the strong team in, the final instalments to solidify victory.
I’ve done my bit. For the first two fights I’ve been enough to get him through, but I don’t have a big enough ego to not accept help for this so we’ve got that, it’ll take him over the edge for victory.
The big names came into play in Vegas. Jeff Mayweather and Badou Jack were there among others so he’s been surrounded by some of the best from the US.
Finally, we have to talk about your ‘beef’ with Shannon Briggs?
As a boxer I respect Briggs, he was heavyweight champion of the world and I have nowhere near touched that credential.