GYM 01 talent switched on for battle

Gym 01 strawweight fighter Jade Barker
Gym 01 strawweight fighter Jade Barker
Matt Marchant. Picture: David Brawn

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Brian Adams believes Jade Barker looks a different fighter ahead of her bout against Fee Chrystall on Saturday.

The Gym 01 strawweight aims to bounce back to winning ways on the March Madness card in Linwood, Scotland, promoted by On Top.

Gym 01 fighter Mike D'Aguiar. Picture: Graham Finney

Gym 01 fighter Mike D'Aguiar. Picture: Graham Finney

Barker is regarded as one of the Southsea gym’s most naturally-gifted fighters – but her decision-making has previously been her downfall.

However, the former South Downs College student has worked hard to improve that area of her game.

And Adams reckons Barker is heading into her fight against Chrystall in a much better mindset.

‘Jade’s a different person now,’ Gym 01’s head MMA coach said.

‘She is one of the most skilful people in the gym. However, she fell into that trap of doing things she liked to do.

‘We had a good sit down at the beginning of the year and she’s done everything we’ve asked of her.

‘We won’t be disappointed either way because, regardless of the result, she has prepared correctly.

‘This is one of the few times she can honestly say that.

‘We have been working on Jade’s decision-making.

‘She has so many tools she doesn’t really realise which one she should be using at the right time. So hopefully it pays off.

‘Jade always struggled with the mental side, rather than the physical, and hopefully we’ve fixed that now.’

Mike D’Aguiar and Alex Bodnar also represent Gym 01 in Scotland.

The former faces Iain Postlethwaite after taking the fight at short notice.

Adams revealed his charge has improved his weight management heading into the flyweight contest.

‘He’s got control of his weight for the first time in his career,’ the coach added.

‘He had an opponent who missed weight by 13lb two weeks ago so we’ve arranged this fight for him.

‘We haven’t done anything specifically for it – there’s not a lot you can do in a fortnight.

‘Mike has been fine since his first professional loss. He knew what he needed to fix.

‘Previously, he was doing things he liked to do.

‘Now, however, he’s training in areas he doesn’t like to.’

Bodnar meets Danny Naismith in an amateur welterweight fight.

The 5-1-0 man will give away 5kg to his Scottish opponent – but is relishing the challenge.

Adams said: ‘Normally, Alex is a featherweight but he is fighting at 77kg.

‘Alex will be coming into the ring at around 72kg but we struggle to match him so he will just fight anyone.

‘He’s had the flu for the past fortnight but wants to fight and he’s good to go.

‘He’s always confident. He’s just one of those guys who just wants to fight.’