Raphael Akpejiori has boosted his knockout power with the same trainer who primed Deontay Wilder’s destructive punches

Raphael Akpejiori is the latest heavyweight puncher to learn the unique training methods of Joey Scott, who also primed Deontay Wilder’s fearsome power.

The Nigerian contender has been taught the ‘explosive’ techniques at Scott’s Tru Fit Athletics base in Miami, where former WBC champion Wilder also undergoes stringent sessions to develop his destructive punching.

Scott, a specialist strength and conditioning coach for high-performance athletes, explained to Sky Sports how he instils even more power in Akpejiori, who has knocked out all nine of his opponents.


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What was the early analysis of Akpejiori?

For one, we had to get the excess amount of weight off him. He’s a big guy, so toning him up for his flexibility.

That was one of the big things that we needed to work on. The reason that was so important is because when you don’t have flexibility then you will never see your full potential power distributed.

You have a lot of restrictions. You are a big guy, you have a lot of water weight on you, but now it’s time to get more muscle versus fat and make sure we keep the flexibility. That way he’s able to distribute his power efficiently.

That’s one of the big things that I worked with Raphael on is his flexibility. That helped him with his movement, that helped him with the functionality of his body. It also helped him be a bit lighter on his feet.

Can you increase Raphael’s explosive power?

Absolutely. To be honest with you, that’s in any sport. Once you increase the flexibility, then you are able to distribute your power a lot more, especially for guys like Raphael.

He has naturally gifted power, so the only thing I’m doing is giving him certain exercises. That way it can be enhanced even more. He’s already got power, but my job is to enhance the power that he already has.

What kind of techniques do you teach?

Everything that I do, it puts the body in a position that they are going to be in, in a squared circle. I do not like doing things that the body is never going to see.

We do a lot of explosive functioning training, like power clean. We do med ball throws, we do snatches, snatch pulls, clean pulls.

I put their bodies in a position that they are most likely going to be in when they are in the field of play.

Can Akpejiori be a real heavyweight threat?

He’s still learning his body.

When he gets a lot better with how to throw his punches. When he gets a lot better with how to use his legs. When he gets a lot better with movement, from A to Z. When he starts learning to be efficient, taking angles and things like that, his power is going to get a lot better.

It’s going to hurt a lot more from when he first started.

Joey Scott

He’s going to be in the right positions at the right times to throw the right punch. It’s going to hurt a lot more from when he first started.

Learning Wilder’s explosive secrets

Akpejiori has told Sky Sports about how his concussive punches are being perfected by the same successful formula that worked for Wilder.

How do Scott’s methods help you inside the ring?

It’s an explosion. The punch that knocks you out is usually the punch that feels like, ‘I didn’t actually punch him that hard.’

It’s more of the mechanics of the punching that he teaches. It’s not really the strength or the effort you put into the punch, but the development of the punch.

Punches come from the feet. Joey Scott, he’s more of a rotation guy. He works on the rotation aspect of your mechanics. Rotation and back foot power is what you can put together, and here comes an explosive knockout punch.

But it’s not just about knockout power?

It’s about the strength and conditioning, the ability to go through 12 rounds. The ability to go to work from the start of the round until the end without really feeling any fatigue.

Look a man in the eye throughout the round. Listen to his breathing, watch his body reaction on every punch. Find times where he’s trying to take a break, or take a breather and try to capitalize on those.

Does Scott want to create another heavyweight destroyer?

That is the goal, not just to create one, but to make one and keep me there.


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Deontay Wilder, if I guess right, I think he won the heavyweight title in 2015 and he defended the belt for five years. It was the longest title defence.

The goal right now is to get that belt and break the record for having the longest title defence of a major world championship belt.

We are in the process of creating another one, and within a year or two, we will accomplish our first step, which is winning a heavyweight title.

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