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England Fight Prep Begins

The U.S. team was assembled today as fight promoter Colin Payne picked me up from my London hotel, picked up trainer Justin Whiley from the London Heathrow Airport, and then picked up Travis Mason and his mother Marsha from an airport down in Gatwick.

We were checked into the Royal Victoria Bull Hotel in Rochester, Kent, England. The hotel has a lot of charm as it is probably older than the United States. Floors, stairs, and walls are slanted as the hotel looks to be at least 5 different buildings that have been merged together. As I turned in for the night I placed my watch on the nightstand and it slid right off the table and fell to the floor 🙂 I’m going to get a picture on here later from some of the staircases inside this building. There is one that I came across so far that looks like it is out of a Dr. Seuss novel.

The city of Rochester also has a lot of character. Apparently Charles Dickens grew up here as a boy and then later moved back during his later years. A number of buildings are marked with plaques signifying the building was mentioned in a Dicken’s story. There is also the Rochester Castle and Rochester Cathedral right behind our hotel which I hope to check out later this weekend.

After checking into our hotel, promoter Colin Payne took us to his gym for a short workout. It’s a beautiful facility and we are very grateful to Colin for being so hospitable. He shuttled us around most of the day today and welcomed us into his gym to get one final workout in. Colin has faced a huge setback in moving the venue and time of the event at the last minute due to a fire that happened just a few days ago at the original venue. I’m sure Colin is very stressed with everything going on right now, but he is still going the extra mile to make sure we are well taken care of.

Weigh-ins are tomorrow and I guess it’s tradition to have the entire group eat together at an Italian restaurant down the road (fighters, trainers, promoter, etc.) I’m looking forward to that, it should be a lot of fun.

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