LAS VEGAS (March 16, 2010) – Legendary sports performance management specialist Mackie Shilstone (www.mackieshilstone.com) has a unique perspective into the April 3 Bernard Hopkins-Roy Jones, Jr. rematch at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Shilstone has worked closely with both boxers and knows better than anyone what makes each man tick.
“I know them better than anyone,” Shilstone said. “I know what’s inside them because when you see the entourages go and it’s just me and them training, I’m left with the human strengths, the human frailties. Whether it be Roy or Bernard, I know what their psyche is, I monitor their heart rate, I’m the only person in the world that’s seen six weeks of beat by beat by beat of every beat of the heart, I’ve seen it go up, I’ve seen it go down. I know what makes it go up emotionally, I know what makes it go down, and the world has never seen this.”
Shilstone, who has most recently been an integral member of the team that assisted 25-time Grand Slam-winner Serena Williams back to her No. 1 form, helped Hopkins surprise Antonio Tarver at the age of 41 and assisted Jones, Jr. in his unanimous 2003 win over John Ruiz. But Jones and Hopkins weren’t Shilstone’s first foray into boxing. In 1985, he helped Michael Spinks move from light heavyweight up to heavyweight and beat Larry Holmes, an unprecedented feat – no light heavyweight had ever moved up and beaten the heavyweight champion. His participation in this historical moment earned Shilstone a spot among “Ring Magazine’s” 50 most influential people in the history of boxing.
Shilstone’s MO is to use an all-encompassing approach of fitness, health and lifestyle to not only extend athletes’ careers, but their lives as well. Shilstone teamed up with a 30-year-old Ozzie Smith, and the partnership not only helped Smith improve his numbers, it helped earn him another 11 years in the league and the Hall of Fame – Smith even wrote Shilstone into his induction speech.
“He gets in your head, he runs with you, he trains with you – he pushes you,” said a 41-year-old Hopkins a day after stunning Tarver by unanimous decision. “A lot of fighters don’t know the benefits of his (regimen) because we are told that the traditional way is the only way – anything else is taboo. Can you imagine how dangerous I would have been had I had Mackie five years ago?”
“I’ve got to be honest, when I looked at the tapes, I said, ‘How am I gonna beat him [Ruiz]? How am I going to do this?’” said Jones, Jr. “Then I met Mackie Shilstone … he motivated me to train at another level.”
“As the only person who has worked one on one with both Bernard and Roy, I truly appreciate the talents and dedication that each boxer brings to this event,” Shilstone said. “It is almost as if Superman and Batman were to decide to fight each other to see who is truly the greatest super hero.
“I finally understand, having two sons and also working with Serena (Serena versus Venus), what is must be like to have two ‘siblings’ (Hopkins and Jones) play or fight each other. Since both boxers are like family to me, I cannot watch the fight. I know both men inside out and know what each is capable of doing, especially after working with me.
“The world will tremble under the force of these two great champions. Age and won/loss records will be meaningless gauges of the intensity of this encounter. The ring may not be big enough.”
Shilstone will also be featured prominently on the pre-fight special, airing throughout the country on Fox Sports Net, in addition to On Demand as a free preview on DIRECTV, iN DEMAND and most cable networks throughout the country. Check local listings. To access Shilstone’s clip, go to www.mackieshilstone.com.
“The Rivals: Hopkins vs. Jones II,” set for Saturday, April 3 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev., is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Square Ring Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate. The event will be broadcast live on pay-per-view beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.