British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury is loading up on blood sausage, lean pork, and anything spicy ahead of his blockbuster crossover fight later this month, his nutritionist revealed to AlertContent.
Fury, 35, is set to face off against MMA fighter Francis Ngannou on October 28 and has spent the last few months following a regimented diet free of cheat meals, save for some steak on his days off.
Nutritionist George Lockwood, who lives with Fury for several months out of the year during training camp and who has worked with other fighters like Conor McGregor and Joseph Parker, told AlertContent Fury is disciplined and ‘isn’t changing anything’ about his exercise or diet regimen leading up to the anticipated matchup.
Though he eats a variety of dishes, the fighter’s current favorites are curry and an ‘American’ breakfast of steak, eggs and potatoes – and he’s not a big fan of vegetables.
Despite Fury’s 6ft 9in and 265-pound physique, Lockwood said the father-of-seven sticks to a caloric intake of 2,700 to 3,200 calories a day: ‘He’s a big guy, but he’s not a big eater.’
British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury, 35, loads up on foods like black pudding, American-style breakfasts, curry, steak, and Greek yogurt to prepare for fights
Fury is gearing up for his next big fight against MMA star Francis Ngannou
Fury consumes about four meals a day, including breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner.
Black pudding, a type of sausage popular in the UK, is one of his staples. It’s made from animal blood, such as pigs or cows, and grains like cereal or oatmeal. The blood makes it rich in iron, which is necessary for intense workouts because it helps produce hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body.
He also drinks pre- and post-workout shakes before and after each of his two daily workouts. These types of shakes typically include whey, casein, egg, soy, or pea protein. Whey and casein are milk proteins, while soy and pea proteins are plant-based. Egg protein is made with pure egg white protein.
However, even with his matchup against Ngannou fast approaching, Fury isn’t packing in extra calories, and his intake is about the same for all his fights and training days.
Lockwood said: ‘That’s one thing about Tyson. If you fight Deotay Wilder or a novice, you train the exact same. He treats it like the biggest fight of his life.
‘A lot of people make the mistake of changing nutrition the week of the fight. 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.’
The one thing Lockwood does change shortly before a fight is the amount of carbs Fury gets. By loading up on carbs the day before a fight or before a particularly intense workout, Fury will have them stored in his body and ready to use the next day. This is known as carb-loading.
Carbs, which include sugars, starches, and fiber, are vital for exercise because they get broken down into glucose. Glucose then travels through the bloodstream to cells, where they use it for energy. This process takes time, so Lockwood starts carb-loading a day before.
Lockwood said: ‘You don’t want to give him a bunch of carbs the day of sparring because it’s not going to be in his body for use.
‘Typically, as we get closer to the fight, his output goes up. We obviously increase carbs.’
Fury (right) has his nutritionist George Lockhart (left) live with him throughout fight camp
Despite being 6ft 9in and about 265 pounds, Fury is ‘not a big eater,’ his nutritionist said
Lockwood also gives the fighter more refined grains, like white rice, because the body digests them more quickly.
‘When you’re doing two workouts a day, you need to be able to load up, refuel, and rock and roll again,’ the trainer told AlertContent
While most people may consume fewer calories while they increase exercise to lose weight or stay slim, this isn’t effective for elite athletes like Fury, according to Lockwood.
‘A lot of people work on the input. They try to decrease the input instead of trying to increase the output,’ Lockwood said.
‘For performance athletes, your main goal isn’t to lose weight. Your main goal is to increase performance. So if caloric intake is staying the same, but his output is going up, he’s going to lean out.’
Fury isn’t trying to go into his upcoming fight any leaner or heavier than normal, and Lockwood said he is aiming to be around 264 to 268 pounds.
Regardless of how close an upcoming fight is, Fury has a few favorite foods. Spicy foods like curry come in on top.
Right before speaking with AlertContent, Lockwood said he had just made ‘one of the hottest meals ever,’ and Fury reached for a bottle of hot sauce before even tasting it.
‘He likes really spicy foods, which is really good for me because I like cooking with a lot of peppers, a lot of spice,’ Lockwood said.
‘If it’s spicy, he’s going to like it.’
However, Fury’s top meal changes constantly. When the pair first met three years ago, Lockwood said Fury’s go-to pick was poke, a dish made with raw fish and rice. Now, he no longer likes it.
‘It is always different, but the one thing is it’s always something that’s going to be spicy,’ Lockwood said.
‘He’s a big potato guy. His favorite breakfast is an American breakfast: steak, egg, potato. It’s a good one. I can’t give it to him all the time.’
Lockhart has played an instrumental role in Fury’s dramatic weight loss journey over the years
Fury and his wife, Paris, have seven children, the youngest of whom was born last month
When AlertContent spoke with Lockwood, Fury had just finished his last meal of the day, a dinner of grilled chicken with rice, peppers and jalapeno peppers.
He had started his day with three potatoes, two large turkey sausages, black pudding, and two eggs.
Before training, his snack consisted of Greek yogurt, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and granola.
For lunch, Lockwood made him a bowl with basmati rice cooked in broth, grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, spinach, tomato, garlic, and onion.
To keep things fresh, the trainer sometimes swaps turkey out for meats like chicken, lean pork, fish, and red meat.
Fury isn’t the biggest fan of vegetables, and Lockwood is forced to hide them in his food.
He said: ‘I cook it for long periods of time with rice and stuff like that, mixing it together with chicken broth or bone broth, which helps with digestion and stuff like that.
‘I’m not a big fan of veg either, so I cook my meals very similar to the way I cook his. It’s definitely a good match for both of us.’
Fury isn’t the only athlete Lockwood has worked with, and he has brought his nutrition expertise to other fighters, like New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker, who’s a fan of fish, and Irish fighter Conor McGregor, who Lockwood worked with for six years.
‘It would blow my mind the amount of things [McGregor] could eat before he went and trained. It hurt my stomach to watch,’ Lockwood said.
McGregor was a big fan of lamb, whereas Fury only eats it occasionally.
Despite his regimented lifestyle, Fury does have a go-to cheat meal, though Lockwood claims he doesn’t need one. However, Fury does indulge in steak sometimes.
‘Hopefully, these guys don’t need one with the food that I’m giving them,’ he said.
Lockwood added: ‘It’s healthy, but it’s good stuff. A lot of times when I start working with people, they think that it’s going to be horrible food, they’re going to eat bland chicken, lamb broth, things like that.
‘I’ve been doing this long enough where I try and figure out that palette and cook around that.
‘I’m trying to find out what they like and how they like it but still give them what they need to perform the best they can.’