British boxing light welterweight former champion Ashley Theophane talks to Be The Fittest about boxing, strength and conditioning, diet, training with Floyd Mayweather and much more.
Ashley Theophane should be a household name in Britain. Raised in the tough streets of Paddington West London and now fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevada for the infamous Mayweather Promotions, he is a shining example of Hard work paying off and the definition of Pressure creates diamonds, hence his nickname Treasure.
He has fought some of the top Welterweight fighters in the business, including Danny Garcia, Pablo Cesar Cano and Lenny Daws. He has never avoided a fighter or turned down an opportunity to challenge at the highest level of the sport. Similar to the head honcho of Mayweather Promotions, Ashley has one of the most understated defences in boxing and is widely recognised by the boxing media as one of the hardest training boxers in the industry.
He is also a qualified strength and conditioning coach which contributes heavily to his discipline, work ethic and training regime. BeTheFittest got the chance to sit down and converse with one of Britain’s biggest and most slept on boxing talents.
Ashley Theophane: I train six to seven days a week. A rest day could be yoga, swimming and a massage but I continue to work unless my body feels like it needs a rest. I may not take a full day but I’ll get 24 hours between work outs to help my body recover.
BTF: Since training at Floyd Mayweather’s gym, what differences have you found within the level of training intensity compared to your other training experiences.
AT: What stands out from everyone else in the gym is the work that my team mates put in. We all have our own workouts we do but we all train hard. I think that is something that Floyd respects. Hard work and dedication, that is all something is fighters have.BTF: Do you still train during off season (when you have no fight planned)?
AT: I’m always in the gym just not as intense. Any athlete is always working, be it tennis players, football players, track stars. You should have a base fitness level and when it is time to compete you step up the work and intensity.
BTF: How important do you think Strength and Conditioning is in the sport of boxing and how does it play it’s role in your performance in the ring?
AT: I’m a qualified strength conditioner so I’m very pro strength and conditioning. It helps with explosiveness, recovery and weight loss plus there are many more benefits. Since 2002 I’ve learnt more and more about nutrition and strength training hence I’ve been able to continue to make 140-147lbs since my amateur days. It doesn’t get easier but you have to continue to get better.
BTF: What is a typical Ashley Theophane diet during preparation before a fight?
AT: I eat 2500-3000 calories during my 9 week training camp. I get all of my proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Just eating the normal chicken, fish, yoghurt, fruit and vegetables with some added supplements from High Five nutrition and Vitabiotics. Staying hydrated with a gallon of water. Just the normal stuff, there is no hidden secret to weight loss. Eating healthy is the key.
BTF: What keeps you motivated and what is your main inspiration to stay focused and determined through each fight.
AT: I’ve always wanted to fight in Las Vegas now I’m currently promoted by the number one boxer in the world, Floyd Mayweather. After ten years of being a free agent but still being able to become British champion and world number four was incredible but for Floyd Mayweather to say he believes in my talent, is something I’ll always be grateful for. I’ve won three out of four fights with Mayweather promotions and will be going for my fourth victory in two weeks time.
This is my job. It is not a hobby. So the aim is to always win. This is sport so sometimes you lose but how you come back is important. I currently have 36 wins. 50 is the goal. What I do in between that is still unknown. It took the great Marvin Hagler 50 fights to win a world title so I’ll always believe I can beat the best but its doing it when the opportunity comes.
BTF: When getting ready for a fight, how important is recovery to you especially during intense cycles of a training programme.
AT: Recovery is everything. You can work hard but if you don’t rest your body will break down. Recovery is just as important as how hard you work.
BTF: What do you do to aid the recovery process?
AT: Massage, Yoga, Pilates and Swimming are all part of my recovery. Stretching after each work out is also important.
BTF: You have fought in many locations like Wembley and MGM but what has been your favourite and why?
AT: The MGM was great. I’ve fought there twice. I also like Wembley Arena as it’s a stone throw from home but Saint Lucia back in 2007 was an amazing experience. Having a country 100% behind you was a feeling I’ll never forget. My father was born there so it was great to make him and the people proud that one of their own is doing his thing.
BTF: How difficult is it to programme your training and plan for a fight when you don’t know who the opponent will be?
AT: For me it’s not an issue. I’ve been an amateur boxer since I 1995. You sometimes didn’t know your opponent until you was in the ring. In the ring I’ve had opponent changes on the day f the fight. As British champion I opponent changes twice the week of the fight. I always believe in my talent and the hard work I put in regardless of who is opposite me in the ring.
BTF: What are your views on the new era of more scientific training in boxing and using high end technology in camp in order for tracking progress. Comparing this it to the old school way of just training hard in the boxing gym like the pro’s used to?
AT: It’s whatever you like doing. I’m in between, I like the old school ways as that is how I was brought up but there is always developments in sports and life. As long as it is legal I am all for it.
BTF: Could you give an Ashley Theophane’s Weekly training split during camp.
AT: I remember being accused of training too hard by head trainer in the UK years ago when I trained at the TKO gym in Canning Town until I came to Las Vegas and witnessed Floyd working out. I train anything from 20 to 30 hours a week.
Boxing drills, Long steady runs, short explosive runs, track sessions, swimming, yoga, Pilates and strength conditioning is what I do in my weeks training sessions.
BTF: What do you like to do in your spare time away from the ring and training?
AT: I love going to shows and eating out with friends. It’s the simple things I miss during training camp. I’m in Las Vegas surrounded by temptation but I might as well be in the dessert or Forrest as I’m very boring and focused during camp.
BTF: And finally, we can tell by your Twitter and Instagram that you love dining out with friends and other fighters from the Mayweather camp, can you tell us what is Ashley’s favourite cheat meal?
AT: In Las Vegas we go to Baby Stacks on Saturday morning after our mountain run and have pan cakes, French toast, omelettes and hash browns. That’s my cheat meal during camp. Once a week.