That’s right, vegan prize fighter and it’s not an oxymoron.
On June 9, the undefeated (28-0) Desert Storm will fight the defending welterweight champion, Manny Pacquiao, in Las Vegas. And for at least three months leading up to the fight, Timothy will eat nothing but plant-based foods.
No meat, no dairy and no eggs. Unlike Rocky, he never breaks five eggs into a glass and slurps them down raw. Instead, according to a 2-27-12 article in the Wall Street Journal:
This boxer will pass on the burger. He will deny the cheese. He will skip the sushi that he adores. Instead, the boxer will embrace the quinoa. He will thrill to the avocado and befriend the almond. He will enjoy the spinach, the tofu, and the $7.95 organic smoothie that bears his not-yet-household name. (Scroll down for link to article)
Bradley began experimenting with a vegan diet in 2008 and has now embraced it most of the time—including 100% of the time while in training. And in Las Vegas, after months of strict vegan training, the undefeated boxer Timothy Bradley Jr. hopes to have the fight of his life—and defeat the world-renowned champion Manny Pacquiao.
In fact, he says the only reason he doesn’t eat vegan all the time is because of his wife Monica. Like everyone else, Timothy knows that eating animal foods from time to time is more convenient and more practical than eating vegan. But, unlike everyone else, he knows that plant-based eating is the way to go from a health perspective. Like Tony Gonzalez (all-pro tight end), Timothy knows that plant-based eating gives him an advantage over his professional adversaries. As Timothy says in the article:
“The reason I love it so much is that I feel connected to the world…My thoughts are clearer, crisp. I am sharp. Everything is working perfectly—I feel clean. It’s a weird feeling, man. It’s just a weird feeling.”
Bradley was staggered to feel an almost-immediate surge in preparation and competition. “I was able to outwork a lot of my opponents,” he said. ”He really liked it,” said Bradley’s trainer, Joel Diaz. “His body felt different.”
The article noted that Timothy “stuck by the vegan diet as he became junior welterweight champion and built an unblemished record of 28-0. For three months leading up to a bout, he will eat vegan, with no exceptions. This is what he intends for his MGM Grand showdown with Pacquiao on the second Saturday in June.”
His favorite restaurant even has a namesake smoothie in his home town of Palm Springs, CA, it is called “Bradley’s Ultra Green” and includes includes spinach, kale, mint, ginger, probiotic, bananas, aloe vera, apple juice and Spirulina.
Bradley becomes the second pro-boxer to announce his preference for the plant-based diet—the other one was Mike Tyson. But, Bradley is the first to make the change in the prime of his career. Although not a boxing fan, I have marked my calendar and will be pulling for the Desert Storm on June 9—maybe he’ll pull an upset on the champ and prove to the world that broccoli beats bacon.
As for other macho athletes choosing plant-based, the most prominent is probably ten time all-pro tight end, Tony Gonzalez. We quoted him in our book extolling the virtues of a 4Leaf kind of diet. From our book…
He lists the multiple benefits of his diet in his book. About endurance, he says, “You last longer while everyone else is getting tired.” About focus, he says, “In the meeting room, in the classroom, at home, out on the field; wherever you are, you have greater ability to concentrate on what needs to be done.”
He also reports faster recovery time: “The day after working out hard or playing a tough game, you come back feeling fresh and full of energy. The other guys [are] hurting and moaning and, sure, you’ve got a few bumps and bruises, but you’re ready to go again!”
Manny Pacquiao vs. the Vegan Timothy Bradley (Wall Street Journal)
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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