A top boxing coach has turned to technology to improve his fighters’ performances by making them play computer games.
Champion boxing manager John Rooney Jr took the unusual step of installing arcade machines in his gym to improve the reactions of his fighters.
John, who coached Steve Collins to WBO Super Middleweight championship glory, encourages his fighters to play violent ‘beat ‘em up’ Tekken Tag Tournament 2 at Rooney’s Gym in London.
He reckons playing the fast-paced fighting game improves reflexes and hand-eye coordination – two key boxing skills.
John said: “It’s one thing to get your body fit but it’s equally important to train the mind as well.
“I know a number of boxers who play fighting games like Tekken and I was surprised to see a noticeable improvement in their reflexes and hand-eye coordination.
“We’ve installed the arcade machine in Rooney’s gym as I am a firm believer in video games and the benefits they have for fighters’ reflexes and reaction times.
“These games are a great addition to a fighter’s arsenal of training tools.”
Computer games and athletes have a chequered relationship.
Usain Bolt unwinds by playing Call of Duty online with his cousins, while former England keeper David James once blamed a spate of poor performances on playing too much Playstation.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is out on now.