Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Fight Club!

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Fight Club!

Article excerpt

ROBERTO Mancini would push all his City players to do boxing sessions as part of their fitness regime … apart from one!

And former Blues sport therapist Paul Webster has revealed that several of the players who he took on the pads were more than a little handy when it came to donning the gloves.

He even agreed to referee a fun boxing match between two City 'heavyweights', unbeknown to the management.

Mancini liked boxing as a means of increasing fitness levels, especially for players returning from injury, and Webster would work with the manager himself for sessions.

But there was one player who he discouraged from donning the gloves.

"I did training with all of the lads - Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, Wayne Bridge, Roque Santa Cruz. I used it as part of their rehab," says Webster, who is now offering physio, fitness and massage as part of the community hub of Burnage Rugby Club in Heaton Mersey.

"As they were coming back to fitness I would take them for boxing and bring up their fitness level.

"Mancini loved it and would try to get the players to put on the gloves.

"But never Mario, as he would fool around and start kicking me. Mancini would tell me to forget him when it came to boxing!" So who could have been contenders when it came to climbing inside the ropes? "A young lad called Sean Tse, who is in Hong Kong at the minute, was the best," said Webster.

"He could have been a boxer without a shadow of a doubt. His mum was a bouncer, so he had the environment around him.

"You'd never know to look at him, but everything was right - his agility, movement, his punch and range of punching."

Tse certainly had the pedigree - he was born in Salford of a-- English mother and Hong Kongese father, and is now a defender with South China in the Hong Kong Premier League.

At one time Adebayor little ding-with Kolo bit of Paul "Bridge had the fitness but I'm not sure he would have liked getting clipped on the nose," added Webster. …

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