Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Green-Ellis trains on Ali's hallowed ground
By Tim Graham
Float like a butterfly, sting like a Law Firm.
Boston Herald reporter Ian R. Rapoport has revealed one of the more interesting conditioning stories of the lockout.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been working out at the historic 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach. That's the workshop where Muhammad Ali honed his craft under trainer Angelo Dundee.
"There's a lot of great tradition at the gym," Green-Ellis told Rapoport. "You really have to check it out. And when I leave there, I'm drenched from head to toe like I hopped out of the swimming pool."
All boxers need a nickname, and Green-Ellis already has one of the NFL's best: the Law Firm because of the way his name reads.
Patriots fans with an affinity for the Sweet Science will get a jolt out of seeing the photos of Green-Ellis that ran with the story.
Green-Ellis works out at the 5th Street Gym five days a week on top of his regular football training. He decided to try boxing as a way to push himself beyond and to improve his footwork.
"They really put me through it," Green-Ellis said of the 5th Street Gym staff. "There's no sitting down. I like it, and it's especially good for my core. That's where it starts. Working on hand-eye coordination, my footwork in there, keeping up my good cardio, different things for my shoulders -- it helps out. And I like being able to hit the pads. They push me to my limits and past my limits."
He hasn't sparred yet, and might not ever. He said he doesn't have dreams of being a prizefighter like Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski.
Dundee's head trainer, Matt Baiamonte, noted Green-Ellis is a dedicated student of the sport, a trait Bill Belichick certainly recognized with football. Green-Ellis overcame not being drafted and waived multiple times to become the AFC East's only 1,000-yard rusher last season.
"He picks it up really quick," Baiamonte said, mentioning the pros who train at the gym. "David Haye, Andre and Anthony Dirrell, they're amazed with his progress.
"What I really like about Ben is, if I mention a fighter's name, he actually goes home and finds stuff on YouTube and studies the fighters. He'll say, 'In this fight, he did this,' and 'I've been practicing this.'
"If only I could get some of my fighters to do that."