Even between friendly rivals like Lee Swaby and John “Buster’ Keaton, all is fair in love and war. And, apparently, that includes a spot of spyingâ€¦
The two cruiserweight sluggers collide for the vacant British Cruiserweight Title this Friday at the Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield, in a 50/50 match. But Lincoln based Swaby believes he has the inside scoop on his Sheffield rival after watching him spar gym mate Clinton Woods over the summer.
Swaby shares trainer Richard Poxon with light heavyweight king Woods and took a keen interest when Keaton was drafted in by Poxon to help Woods prepare for Glen Johnson in September.
Swaby said: “Buster was in our gym helping Clinton prepare for Johnson and, if I am honest, I watched those sessions very closely.
“At the time me and Buster weren’t down to be fighting each other or anything like that but, really, I’d have been stupid not to have taken an interest in Buster’s sparring with Clinton. The British Title had just become vacant and I suspected that Buster and me would be fighting sooner or later.”
Swaby added: “Buster’s a great guy, loads of fun to have in the gym, but I’d be stupid not to turn some of the mistakes and weaknesses I saw in the gym to my advantage.
“I don’t want to tell you which shots they were exactly, but Clinton was catching Buster with the same couple of shots time and time again and I’ve trained to land those exact same shots on his in this fight.
“Everyone is saying this is a hard, hard fight and every single scrap of advantage could be the difference between winning or losing. Maybe me having a chance to observe Buster in the gym could be that fraction of an advantage which will give me the edgeâ€¦”
However, co-challenger Buster is unconcerned, countering: “Lee saw nothing that he’ll be able to use in our fight. I was there to help Clinton prepare, I wasn’t there for me. I fought in exactly the way Richard Poxon wanted me to in order to get Clinton used to the pressure Johnson was going to bring.
“All Swaby saw was my impression of Glen Johnson. He doesn’t know anything about my style other than what he’s seen on TV.”
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