“The Gypsy King” doesn’t have a big appetite and rarely eats cheat meals.
Did you witness the epic clash known as the “Battle of the Baddest” featuring Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou? After an 11-month hiatus from the ring, Fury made his highly anticipated return to boxing, while Ngannou, renowned for his skills in mixed martial arts, had his debut in the boxing scene. In this post, we’ll check out Tyson Fury’s pre-fight diet before his bout with Francis Ngannou.
The night was one of surprises, including Ngannou unbelievably knocking “The Gypsy King” down in the third round. However, Tyson Fury overcame, with a split decision victory after a 10-round fight to defend his heavyweight title. Fury says,
“It’s part of boxing. I got caught behind the head again. My legs weren’t hurt or nothing. I was alright. And I got back up, and it was what it was. And I got back to my boxing. I don’t know how close it was. But I got the win, and that’s what it is.”
As part of preparations for fights, boxers, like all other athletes, pay attention to their diets. They need to make weight while ensuring their body functions optimally. Looking at what changes they make to their diets can give us insight into how to max out performance when cutting.
The heavyweight champion’s nutritionist, George Lockhart, spoke about this and gave some insights about what it takes to keep him primed for fighting. Let’s take a look at what he had to share.
What Did Tyson Fury Eat Before His Francis Ngannou Bout?
View this post on Instagram
Tyson Fury is a big guy and has a caloric intake of around 3200 calories a day. While you may think this is moderate for his size, his nutritionist says he isn’t a big eater. This means they have to be creative to help him hit those numbers.
Lockhart says that Fury eats around four meals a day. This includes a big American breakfast of potatoes, steak, and eggs. He also adds curry and tries to make the food enjoyable, as Fury doesn’t have cheat meals often, and he hopes to keep it that way. He gets in solid macros, consisting of enough protein, fat, and carbs to keep him healthy.
Tyson Fury’s meals are generally about supporting his weight and maintaining his performance. This means there aren’t too many changes to his diet before a fight. Lockhart says it’s best to give the body what it knows and not make too many changes.
“You give the body the exact same types of foods because you know how the body responds to those foods, the timings of those foods, and the portion sizes.”
Pre-fight Diet for Francis Ngannou
George Lockhart points out that Tyson Fury trains the same way regardless of who he’s fighting. So, despite this being an exhibition bout, he trained twice daily. Fury takes a pre and post-workout protein shake every time he trains. Research shows that consuming protein both pre-workout and post-workout increases muscle protein synthesis, which affects muscle growth (1).
Fury also weighs around 265 lbs typically and was aiming to go into the fight weighing 264 lbs. So Lockhart says that his pre-fight diet was about maintenance and energy support. However, the night before, Fury does a carb load, which we’ll discuss more about later. In the meantime, here’s how Tyson Fury’s diet looks before a fight:
Meal One (Breakfast)
Tyson Fury’s breakfast, as we mentioned earlier, is a big American breakfast. It consists mainly of proteins and carbohydrates.
- Three Potatoes
- Black Pudding
- Two Turkey Sausages
- Two Eggs
Meal Two (Lunch)
For lunch, Tyson Fury loads up on carbs and lean meat. He also has vegetables and lots of spice in his food. Lockhart points out that this is good for him because he likes to cook with a lot of spice, too. He, however, states that Fury doesn’t like vegetables, so he has to be creative when adding them to the meal.
- Basmati Rice
- Sweet Potatoes
- Grilled Chicken or Other Lean Meats
Whenever Tyson Fury has the munchies, his nutritionist provides healthy options to keep his diet on track.
- Greek Yogurt
Meal Three (Dinner)
For dinner, Tyson Fury has a meal similar to his lunch but without potatoes. He also doesn’t have as many veggies as with lunch.
- Grilled Chicken or Other Lean Meats
Tyson Fury’s Pre-Fight Diet Against Francis Ngannou Breakdown
View this post on Instagram
Tyson Fury’s pre-fight diet is about maintaining his muscles and weight while keeping his energy levels optimal. As a result, he employs the following food classes and techniques.
Boxers need protein for muscle growth, recovery, and repairs. Without this, their body would break down with the demands of their training. Proteins also enhance your overall performance and training.
For boxers, carbohydrates contain glycogen, which is stored in their muscles and used for contractions during a fight. If your glycogen levels get depleted before your fight, you’ll get tired faster. This can be detrimental if you tire out before your opponent.
Vegetables contain vitamins and minerals, which boost your immunity (2). This is important as getting sick during training or before a fight will significantly affect your performance. George Lockhart mixes his veggies with other foods to ensure Fury eats them. He says,
“I cook for long periods of time with rice and stuff like that, mixing it together with chicken broth or bone broth, which helps with digestion.”
Pre & Post Workout Shakes
Loading up on proteins before and after training is essential if you’re trying to maintain and build muscle. Tyson Fury consumes pre and post-workout protein shakes, which help to boost his protein intake and encourage muscle growth.
Carb loading increases your carb intake to improve your glycogen stores and performance. Tyson Fury does carb loading in the days leading to his fight to ensure he has the energy needed on that day. His nutritionist says,
“You don’t want to give him a bunch of carbs the day of sparring because it won’t be in his body for use.”
Lockhart also points out that he gives Fury carbs in refined grains so that his body digests and converts them to energy faster. However, bodybuilders planning on carb loading should be careful because research shows that while this can increase muscle appearance and volume, you might experience gastrointestinal symptoms (3).
- Cintineo, H. P., Arent, M. A., Antonio, J., & Arent, S. M. (2018). Effects of Protein Supplementation on Performance and Recovery in Resistance and Endurance Training. Frontiers in nutrition, 5, 83. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2018.00083
- Khalid, W., Arshad, M. S., Ranjha, M. M. A. N., Różańska, M. B., Irfan, S., Shafique, B., Rahim, M. A., Khalid, M. Z., Abdi, G., & Kowalczewski, P. Ł. (2022). Functional constituents of plant-based foods boost immunity against acute and chronic disorders. Open life sciences, 17(1), 1075–1093. https://doi.org/10.1515/biol-2022-0104
- de Moraes, W. M. A. M., de Almeida, F. N., Dos Santos, L. E. A., Cavalcante, K. D. G., Santos, H. O., Navalta, J. W., & Prestes, J. (2019). Carbohydrate Loading Practice in Bodybuilders: Effects on Muscle Thickness, Photo Silhouette Scores, Mood States and Gastrointestinal Symptoms. Journal of sports science & medicine, 18(4), 772–779.