Panthers FB Tolbert fighting to stay on top - FOX Carolina 21

Panthers FB Tolbert fighting to stay on top

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(File: FOX Carolina) (File: FOX Carolina)

Mike Tolbert is always ready for a good fight -- even during the offseason.

The Panthers feisty fullback spent his downtime in a familiar setting: a sweaty boxing gym in San Diego sparring with some aspiring professional heavyweight boxers and stepping up his conditioning workouts with his trainer.

The result: the squatty 5-foot-9 Tolbert lost 13 pounds of unwanted weight to get down to 250, which he says left him faster, quicker and better conditioned than last season.

Tolbert is coming off his first Pro Bowl season and the man teammates refer to as "the bowling ball" is eager to make sure his play doesn't slip entering his seventh NFL season.

Says Tolbert of the workouts: "It's tough, but the strong survive -- and I have to be ready."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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