Blaster calls in heavyweights

Shannan Taylor has left nothing to chance in the build up to his middleweight showdown with Anthony Mundine at the WEC tonight.Taylor has the services of two of boxing's most astute campaigners in trainer Rick Staheli and international referee/judge Bruce McTavish. Both reside in the Philippines by way of the United States.Staheli trained the world's No 1 pound-for-pound fighter Manny Pacquiao to his first world title and McTavish refereed one of Jeff Fenech's world title fights.They bring a wealth of pugilistic knowledge to Team Taylor and both are confident he can cause a boilover against the classy and gifted Mundine.Taylor completed his sparring last Thursday and under Staheli's guidance has been tapering his workouts so he will not be sore on fight night but ready to go when the opening bell sounds.Staheli recognises Mundine's immense talent, having immersed himself in tapes of "The Man's" previous fights as well as a recent sparring session."He's very skilful. I was here and watched him against Danny Green and was very impressed," Staheli said."I've seen a lot of film of his fights and I've also got film of his sparring two weeks ago."I've got a contact in the United States. I made a few phone calls and lo and behold somebody Fed-Exed me a tape of him sparring two weeks ago."I've actually got footage of him sparring with Nader Hamdan and another sparring partner."Staheli has been working on Taylor's power for the fight."Anthony is going to have the speed advantage. I think we'll definitely have the power advantage."Right from when he arrived in Wollongong with his young daughter, Michelle, Staheli has come to really like the place and its people."I was in the supermarket the other day and people recognised me and they come up and they wished me the best for Shannan and pass on their regards to Shannan," Staheli said."So wherever I go there's definitely interest."McTavish has been good friends with Taylor for some years and introduced him to Staheli."I learned a lot about Bruce when I was a young trainer 20 years ago," Staheli said."He's taught me an awful lot about the game and he's basically like the team leader."McTavish has been looking after Taylor's mental approach while Staheli concentrates on the physical preparation."Rick has done an excellent job with (assistant trainer) Brad (Gallagher) in the training," McTavish."What a lot of people don't realise is you have diet, fitness, training, tactics, but also you have the mental attitude."I have a very good relationship with Shannan in that we respect each other."My aspect is to get him mentally prepared."A lot of people get distracted and he's inclined to get distracted. He's a very vibrant type of individual so I've had to try and keep him focused and let him concentrate."He can relax after the fight, but right now it's very important to concentrate and to get his priorities straight."Rick's trained him with Brad and they've got him in good shape. Now if he listens to Rick's instructions, there's no way in the world he should lose."

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