A Champion Is Born
Who is Anthony Ogogo?
Following his recent victory in Las Vegas, Anthony Ogogo sat down with Maximuscle Sport Nutritionist Gareth Nicholas to discuss how he prepares, makes weight and recovers after a fight.
Now that Anthony has started to establish himself as a professional boxer I wanted to get a better understanding of how life as a professional boxer differs from that as an amateur. Following his silver medal success in the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and his Bronze medal at the London Olympics has anything changed? Has his amateur success helped shape him as a professional boxer? Did these early days give him the perfect spring board towards being a true champion?
We all know that boxing is a hard sport, in Anthony’s words, “it hurts being punched in the head”. But it was even more obvious, chatting to him only a couple of days after his recent fight, that as a professional boxer, the fight takes its toll on the body but so does the travelling. On this occasion Anthony took to the ring on the Mayweather undercard in Vegas against a fierce competitor, Jonuel Tapia. This was to be Anthony’s 6th professional fight but as an amateur he had well over 200 contests, so it’s pretty much business as usual.
Training Camp - Preparation
For any boxer an 8-10 week training camp usually precedes a fight; getting the body both mentally and physically prepared is essential if victory is to be realised. Cutting out the luxury’s, making life hard so that it helps you to really focus. For Middleweight Boxer Anthony, it’s about making sacrifices that drive him on and give him the edge over opponents who have the same dream. This level of determination makes the winning feeling even more special.
“To be a real champion, consistency is important. Staying on top of things and not having huge mountains to climb before the fight,” says Ogogo. We were talking about the various practises adopted by fighters who try and make the weight, cutting down ready for the weigh-in. Boxers tend to have a variety of methods to achieve their target weight but for Anthony it has always been about doing the simple things well and not doing anything drastic. Not relying on outrageous strategies to get the weight off. For example, he’s never used a sweat suit or crash dieted and he doesn’t intend on doing so in the future.
Usually Anthony’s fight preparations start around 8 weeks out from a fight. At this time his weight is around 12st 7lbs and as quickly as possible he trims down to his training weight of 12 stone. Not by any extreme diet plan but just “watching what I eat, cutting out the junk,” says Anthony. He likes the odd treat and has a sweet tooth but those things will have to wait, another dangled carrot towards success.
As the camp draws closer to 4-5 weeks from fight night the training intensity has really ramped up with Anthony trying to improve his speed, punching power, stamina and endurance. This is emulated and supported by his diet. At this time Anthony still has an eye on the fact that he needs to be down to 11st 6lbs at the weigh in, so his portion sizes are slightly smaller, his carbohydrate intake is lowered and his evening activity is reduced.
Unlike an amateur boxer, professionals usually weigh in 24 hours before the fight, meaning that there is the possibility of radical dehydration and starvation for the weigh in and then a rapid regain before the fight. For Middleweight Boxer Anthony, this method is old school; he believes that for both the weigh-in and the fight, he wants to feel good. “The battle is in the ring, not with the scales. Boxing is a hard sport, so I want to make it as easy as possible, where I can,” says Anthony.
In the last week, Anthony’s training starts to taper, ensuring that he is fully recovered from the hard fight camp and in peak physical condition, ready for fight night. Anthony’s nutritional plan doesn’t alter too much at this point. He’s careful to eat enough to support recovery but not to eat too much to feel bloated, heavy and slow. This strategy stemmed from his amateur days and has been practised and refined as a professional.
To help Anthony meet his training demands Maximuscle products offer the support he needs. In particular, Anthony uses Cyclone as his ‘go to’ product as the mix of creatine and protein to improve his strength and power. This is curtailed around 10 days before the fight, to help lose any of the unwanted water; usually accrued with creatine supplementation. In the last few days to help curb his appetite, Anthony supplements with Maximuscle protein bars and shakes which he feels help to prevent him from eating the wrong foods.
“Stealing someone else’s moment.” Despite being competitors and with only one winner, Anthony has huge respect for the boxers he fights. “Boxers have to be tough so our training is tough and a boxer’s lifestyle is not something that you can just turn up and do.” says Anthony. Respect isn’t automatically given to all boxers; something close to Ogogo’s heart is the disrespect for those athletes who choose to cheat by using illegal performance enhancing drugs. When boxing in America this is something that is also taken seriously, with every boxer being drug tested before the fight, ensuring that every contest is a fair one.
For us at Maximuscle this is also something that we take very seriously; Anthony knows that we have his and your best interests at heart and that’s why we batch screen all of our products for illegal substances as regulated by the informed sport programme. As Anthony says, “if someone cheats by the use of drugs, his opponent has to live with that. What if it was their one and only title shot, it’s stealing someone else’s moment”.
Hopefully for Anthony his opportunity for a title shot will come soon enough and I’m sure that like us you will wish him well for the future - for a champion is born.