Philpott ready for full-time role
Zain Philpott hopes to be a “new fighter” when he steps into the ring for the first time since switching from sanshou to boxing at North Field tonight.
Philpott, who faces his first overseas opponent in Kristan Browne, from Heavy Hitting Boxing in Connecticut, made the switch three months ago because of a lingering foot injury.
As part of his transition, Philpott mas moved from the Bermuda Sanshou Association to Forty Rego's Gym in Warwick, where he now trains alongside Nikki Bascome and Andre Lambe.
“I had a longstanding foot injury and tried to get over it and hoped it would finally heal up,” Philpott said.
“It wasn't happening and whenever the training got pretty intense it would flare up and I'd injure myself.
“I figured in the long run I'd rather stay off my feet and switch over to boxing and not lose the whole fight game.”
Although boxing and sanshou (Chinese kickboxing) share similarities, there are many differences between the sports and Philpott admits he is still at the start of his learning curve.
He does, however, have four wins as an amateur pugilist already under his belt as he looks to extend his undefeated run in his first bout as a pure boxer.
“I'm pretty good with my hands and most of my fights have been boxing,” he said.
“I've had to dissect everything that I thought I knew and improve on a good bit of things.
“I hope you'll see a different fighter. This is my first foreign opponent and it should be a bit different.”
Philpott, the brother of former Vancouver Whitecaps footballer Tyrell Burgess, said he was already familiar with several of the fighters at Rego's Gym.
Witnessing Bascome train first hand has been an “eye-opener” for Philpott and inspired him to raise the intensity of his own workouts.
“I've watched Nikki fight so to then come to his training ground and see what he actually does and the work that he puts in has been great,” the 22-year-old said.
“It's really shown me the work that I need to do. I've had a few little sparring sessions with him and obviously we were going pretty light.
“He was just showing me a few little things like different movements and what not.
“It was a confidence booster to hit him as I felt like I'd hit a pro fighter!”