I found weight-making very difficult in my career. I don’t feel there were the experts around then that there are now in nutrition. There was a lot I didn’t know, wasn’t aware of. Weight-making really affected my career but now, with sports science having moved into the sport, I think we’re seeing the results of that. It would have helped me massively if I’d had the right advice and information on making weight.
The simple stuff is that you bring your weight down and hold it down but when you’re feeling like you’ve got the ‘flu for six weeks due to holding your weight down, you need more help than we had in those days. That old adage doesn’t always work because in some cases you’ve taken too much weight off. There’s making weight and then there’s being able to perform at a weight and keep your reactions and have enough energy to compete. A lot of boxers in the past were probably at the wrong weight and just didn’t know.
I had good people around me; the Lynch brothers were very modern but the science of the sport has moved on. We can now tell a boxer exactly what he should be eating and drinking and what weight he should be boxing at. If I had the knowledge in my career that I have now, I’d have boxed at the weight above, I’d have eaten better, I would have been hydrated far better than I was – hydration is key to performing – and I’d have eaten the right foods. There are foods that have no benefit to you, that make you sluggish and slow.