SERGEY RABCHENKO has started preparations for his rematch with Cedric Vitu by setting up camp in his opponent’s home country.
The Belarussian will defend his European light-middleweight crown against the southpaw on an as yet to be confirmed date and has begun conditioning work in Valance, southern France with Nicolas Riffard.
Riffard, who has experience working with former world champions Laurent Boudouani and Jean Marc Mormeck, will put Rabchenko through his paces for four weeks – after which he’ll fly to England and link up with trainer Ricky Hatton.
Being based in France allows Sergey to benefit from training methods not available to him in Manchester, such as rafting and footwork drills in sand.
“I really enjoy Nicolas’ fitness program. It is never boring, and because it is like a fun game, it is very enjoyable, besides being tough,” he said.
“Rafting is very demanding physically and it is great fun, especially as the weather in Valence at this time of the year is so good. This was a totally new experience.
“At least twice a week, Nico or some of his assistants go with me shopping for food in a ‘Bio-Market’ where there are only organic products. I love preparing food myself, and the diet is controlled by a very knowledgeable dietician, who is one of Nico’s close friends. There’s no messing around with them.”
He added: “After these four weeks of physical preparation with Nico, I’ll be ready to go to Hyde, where I’ll start the more specific boxing preparation under the guidance of Ricky Hatton and Mike Jackson.
“With such plan, I am sure I’ll be in the very best form and spirit of my life, ready for the return fight with Cedric Vitu.”