Training with the best

CHAD SCARSBROOK

, Last Updated: 7:14 AM ET

Usually when a boxer is standing in the ring across from welterweight legend Floyd Mayweather, he's in for a long night. That wasn't the case for Olivia (The Predator) Gerula.

The Winnipeg product, who was training in Reno, Nev., this summer, was ecstatic when the undefeated champ asked her to step into the ring for a little training session.

"He asked me to hold the pads and work with him," said Gerula, who's in Winnipeg training for an upcoming boxing match against Sandy Tsagouris in Brampton, Ont., for the Canadian female lightweight championship. "We worked on a bit of technique stuff and he said I had fast hands and was a quick learner."

Gerula, the No. 3 super featherweight in the world, will take on the No. 2-ranked Tsagouris on Oct. 13.

"I don't know much about her except she's 6-0," said the 5-foot-3 Gerula, who fights at 128 pounds and has a pro record of 8-9-2 with two KOs. "I have a tape of one of her fights but I don't think I'm going to watch it. A lot of fighters like to study other boxers to get to know their moves and what they do. But if you're watching a tape from six months or a year ago, you have no idea if what you see is how she fights now.

"It's less about her and more about me."

The 28-year-old works as a personal trainer at Shapes and is a kickboxing and boxing instructor at Peguis Trail Fitness Centre, which has given her an unorthodox training routine. When she not training for a fight, she's working out for a living.

"I'm always off to the side with my clients as a trainer," she said. "I'm beside them doing lunges, shoulder presses, biceps curls, copious amounts of abs and thousands of push-ups in a day."

When it comes to cardio, she's a big fan of the Stairmaster. Well, sort of.

"I have a relationship going with the Stairmaster," she said with a laugh. "It seems to want to kick my ass and I want to kick its ass. I'm also a fair-weather runner. I'll run about 20 minutes on the treadmill but if you drive me downtown and drop me off for an hour run, I'd be happy."

Gerula feels she's coming into her own as a fighter and is ready to take the next step.

"My goal in women's boxing is to leave a lasting impression," said Gerula, who recently signed with Infinity Boxing management in Las Vegas. "I've never won a world title, so this is important. It would definitely further my career."

Legitimacy

A championship win would give her the legitimacy promoters look for when booking fighters down south.

"I'm so excited about this fight," said Gerula. "I don't have a trainer so I've asked my brothers to step up. My whole family is flying out. I'm not sure what my brothers will be doing at ringside, maybe slapping me or telling me jokes between rounds.

"I'm ready to go."

You can check out a webcast of Gerula's fight for free by visiting stelepromotions.ca at 7 p.m. on fight night. Her website is oliviathepredator.com.

Have an idea for Keeping Fit? Contact Chad at chad.scarsbrook@sunmedia.ca


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