Sands Emerges from Reinvention Process
Champion Boxer Has New Team, New Approach
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Things were going great for Al Sands. “The Haitian Temptation” held the Minnesota and NABA U.S. Cruiserweight titles. However, Sands felt something needed to change.
“It was something I saw as a necessary step to progress through the boxing ranks,” he said. “It’s been a sort of spirit quest to break down everything I was doing before that everybody has seen to essentially reinvent myself.”
“His speed, his power, everything could have been improved dramatically,” said Marty Smith, Sands’ new striking coach. “It was obvious, you could see that right away.”
Smith knew reinventing the wheel, or in this case, a seasoned boxer like Sands wasn’t going to be easy, but it was a task he was willing to undertake.
“We had to literally rebuild him,” said Smith. “To undo a lot of things and re–learn it, that is a very difficult thing. It takes a lot of determination from whoever is doing it.”
“We went way beyond square one,” added trainer Mike McKean. “We went back to the basic everything and then started building on that.”
McKean’s first job as trainer was to get Sands to use his greatest strength.
“He’s got extraordinary reach, he doesn’t have to take big shots,” said McKean.
“It was rough for a few months right at the beginning,” added Sands. “We’ve turned a few corners and I’m excited to showcase this for my next fight.”
That fight is August 28th against Phil “The Drill” Williams for the Sands’ state championship. The new “Team Sands believes the champ will be ready.”
“It’s going to be amazing,” said McKean. “People are going to be really surprised when they see Al fight again.”
“Hopefully this change has given him enough skills where it can propel him to where he wants to go,” added Smith. “Which is ultimately a world title.”