Ahead of his big fight in Las Vegas this autumn, former British Light Welterweight Champion, Ashley Theophane, takes time out from training to talk ambition, nutrition and how nothing fuels a fighter better than a bowl of porridge!
Disciplined, determined and a hard-earned part of Floyd Mayweather’s ‘Money Team’, Ashley ‘Treasure’ Theophane is clearly a man on a mission for the WBA Light Welterweight title – a mission that starts across the pond in October.
Born and raised in one of the toughest and deprived areas of West London, Ashley always felt he was destined for more. As a youngster of limited means and without much backing from the British boxing establishment, Ashley carved out his own career path, mastering the art of self-promotion and fighting in small halls across the world as part of a long journey back to Wembley. Mental strength, fierce ambition and the will to win has evidently earned the 36-year-old a place on the world boxing stage, but ultimately these winning attributes go hand-in-hand with the physical conditioning that is essential for a world-class fighter. Like all professional athletes, Ashley puts a firm emphasis on training and nutrition and he admits that sticking to a strict diet for the all-important weigh-in is one of his toughest challenges. As he prepares for his next opponent, yet to be confirmed as BESTFIT went to press, Ashley is committed to intense daily training and nutritional plan set by his strength and conditioning coach.
“Cardio exercise is always the perfect start to my day, and a typical day’s training could range from going for a run, a swim or coming to the boxing gym”, says Ashley. “I love swimming – it’s my favourite ‘other’ sport and if I go up the mountains in Vegas and run that’s always fun – it’s hard work, but beautiful with nature all around you”.
Such an intense fitness regime demands specific nutritional requirements and, according to Ashley’s strength and conditioning coach, nothing beats a hearty bowl of porridge!“I generally eat very healthily – a lot of fruit, yogurt and fish, but the combination of carbohydrates and protein is also really important for slow-release energy and muscle replenishment,” Ashley said.
“When I’m training for a fight, porridge gives me the best start because it keeps me full and provides the complex carbohydrates. Mornflake GO! Protein Porridge, with added protein, has a perfect combination of slow-release carbs and protein, perfect for any athlete. The range is also great for eating on the move on my way to the gym in either instant pots or sachets”.
Yet even top athletes enjoy the odd indulgence and there’s nothing Ashley likes better than a home-cooked dinner with his mum, chilling out to R&B tunes and eating out with friends. “I eat anything!” says Ashley. “Italian food, Thai food, and I love my dessert! If cheesecake is there I have to eat the cheesecake!” With Floyd Mayweather as his mentor, Obama, Muhammed Ali and Nelson Mandela as his ideal dinner guests, Ashley takes his inspirations from some of the all-time greats, but ultimately family and inspiring others are what drives him.
“My final thought as I walk towards the ring [before a fight] is always about my cousin who died of a rare heart disease – he died when he was 26 ten years ago. He believed in me and I always want to make him proud. I just want to be the best that I can be and to inspire kids from the UK to never give up, to believe in yourself and follow your dreams”.
Despite the glamour that comes with the Las Vegas lifestyle and the Floyd Mayweather brand, after meeting Ashley at his regular training hang-out, the All Stars Boxing Gym, it’s clear that he is a true London boy. Aside from his strict dieting regime, one of the toughest aspects of his training is being away from home up to nine months of the year.
“I just miss the normality the day-to-day and the accent! When I get on the plane home, I just hear the Englishness and I’m like yes!” Here’s hoping that when he returns after his next fight, the hard work will have been worth it, and that Theophane returns victorious.
EAT LIKE A BOXER
Ashley’s conditioning coach Niko Algieri tells you how to chow down like champ…
“Ashley’s an an athlete, so he needs high protein and good fats in the morning and pre-morning workout. So, try this…”
Avocado, eggs and spinach, maybe some rye bread too, or porridge with protein.
Protein drink and nuts.
Chicken, salad and sweet potato.
Nuts and protein drink – also flax seeds and goji berries.
Steak or turkey with vegetables and quinoa.
“Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Ashley uses Mornflake GO! because he experiences damage and tears to his muscles. The hi-protein porridge helps repair and rebuild the damaged tissue so he becomes stronger and faster. It also makes you feel fuller for longer, so you have less sugar cravings.”