In the realm of boxing, adherents to the vegan diet emerge as a notable cohort. Advocates attest to the diet’s efficacy, citing elevated carbohydrate levels as a potent training fuel and satiety equivalent to substantial non-vegan portions. This dietary regimen is distinguished by its richness in fiber, magnesium, as well as vitamins C and E, coupled with a notably low saturated fat content. Moreover, scientific associations posit a diminished risk of cardiovascular disease in comparison to conventional dietary patterns. So please permit me to introduce my curated selection of preeminent vegan pugilists.
David Deron Haye was born in 1980 in Bermondsey, London, England, and is a former professional boxer. The Haymaker, as he is also called, achieved 83 wins and 13 losses before turning professional, and as a representative of England, he won a gold medal at the Copenhagen Cup in 2000, the Italian Trophy in Naples in 2002 and 2001, and finished second at the Amateur World Championship as a competitor in heavyweight.
When we talk about David’s professional conquests, Haye performed from 2002 to 2018, and this knockout machine achieved 28 victories in that period, 26 of which were knockouts and four defeats. Haye is the winner of the WBA heavyweight and cruiserweight belts, and in cruiserweight, he also won the WBC, WBO, and The Ring titles, which he defended three times before losing them to Wladimir Klitschko.
During his professional boxing career in 2014, Hay changed his diet after much research. The plant-based diet helped him tremendously in his athletic recovery, and another reason is empathy for killed animals, which is a frequent reason for transition. Haye also claims that because of the diet, he has fewer injuries and more energy, and his increase in muscle mass is satisfactory.
Bryant Jennings was born in 1984 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA., and is a former professional boxer. This heavyweight fighter gathered a modest amateur experience of 13 wins and four losses before deciding on professional competitions, where he first appeared in 2010 and remained active until 2019.
Like his amateur career, his professional career was short, where Bryant recorded 24 wins, 14 knockouts, and four losses. Although he could not reach world titles, Bryant is the winner of minor belts such as the Pennsylvania Championship, USBA, IBF, and WBO-NABO titles. Jennings retired after two straight losses and a title loss in 2019.
His career ended with international titles and an unsuccessful attempt to attack the world titles against Wladimir Klitschko. In 2015, Bryant decided to change his diet and cut out animal products, and he says that in eight of his fights, he was already on a plant-based diet when he realized the benefits it brings him.
The transition was difficult, but it was worth it as Jennings had better mind clarity, and it did not affect his boxing performance in the ring. Processed food has become his past, and the fruits he eats give him more than enough energy for his hard training sessions.
Lawrence “The Sauce” Okolie was born in 1992 in Hackney, London, England, and is an active professional boxer. Besides fighting, Okolie has a way with words, as he is an author and rapper. Lawrence has Nigerian roots and got his desire to box when he watched Anthony Joshua fight at the Olympic finals.
Driven by inspiration, he represented his team as a heavyweight at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he did not win a medal, but the following year he turned professional. In six years of competition, Lawrence has 19 wins with 14 knockouts and one loss. Okolie captured several regional titles and the WBO Cruiserweight title, which he defended four times but lost in his last match in 2023. These achievements are particularly impressive because this is a very young fighter with the potential for a championship career.
Another thing Lawrence can boast about is his transition to a vegan diet while he was still an amateur. His vegan friends had an influence, and the diet increased his energy. Okolie got better digestion, and because of the benefits, he no longer intends to return to meat products. As someone who writes texts, Lawrence says that his creativity is much higher with plants.
Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington was born in 1997 in Brooklyn, New York, and is now a young and active boxer with a record of nine wins, five knockouts, and no losses, with a promising career and years ahead of him. This featherweight fighter finished his amateur career with 44 wins and 25 losses, and among his achievements, he can boast of silver and bronze medals at various national competitions.
In 2020, Bruce finished first at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Boxing, his favorite amateur success. Since 2018, he has accepted a plant-based diet, and judging by his flawless professional record, that decision has brought him a quality payment. He has found other and better ways to supplement his body with protein and everything it needs to succeed in the boxing ring, and nutrition has also played a crucial role in developing strength, energy, and, most importantly, recovery.
Cheavon Clark was born in 1990 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and is a Jamaican-British undefeated professional boxer. After he came to England, he started boxing to maintain physical health, but Clark decided to compete, so he participated in and won various competitions in his region.
Cheavon also won several bronze and silver medals at competitions at the European level and one bronze at the world championship, representing England and the United Kingdom. Although he was never able to win a gold medal in major competitions, his amateur career proved to be a great experience for him now that he is a professional.
Cheavon made his debut in 2022, and so far, he has fought seven matches with seven wins, five of which were by knockout, and it is safe to say that he has a promising career ahead of him. In 2018, he suddenly decided to stop eating meat and switched to a vegan diet, which he says is responsible for winning his first IBF International Cruiserweight title. With little time to rest and eat between multiple boxing training sessions, Cheavon has found that he has better digestion because of this diet and is more than happy with it.
Keith Pickett Holmes was born in 1969 in Washington D.C, United States, and he is a former professional boxer. Keith is the first vegan who managed to win the World Championship in the middleweight division. Holmes made his professional debut in 1989, and his twenty-year career boasts 41 wins with 25 knockouts and five losses with never being knocked out.
Keith held two WBC world middleweight titles with four successful defenses boxing around the United States throughout his career and also won the regional USBA Super Welter title. Keith attributes his vegan diet to why he got to where he is now and why it is the difference between him and the other boxers.
Holmes also praised his diet for getting air faster between rounds while competing. Keith is a religious and moral man who tried to transfer the diet change to other people. He advocates fitness, a healthy life, and a plant-based diet. This is one of the reasons why he opened his Vegan Hut Eatery restaurant, helping others lead healthier and more energetic lives.
Yuri Foreman was born in 1980 in Gomel, Byelorussian SSR. He put on boxing gloves at the age of seven with the support of his mother, who signed him up for lessons because he was a victim of peer violence. Yuri liked boxing, so he tried his hand at amateur competitions, achieving 75 wins and five losses.
Foreman entered the ring for the first time as a professional in 2002, winning by knockout in the first round and continuing with a winning streak of 29 victories without defeat. In 19 years of competition, he achieved 35 victories, with ten knockouts, four losses, and one no-contest.
The only title Foreman won was WBA in light-middleweight, but he couldn’t defend it. Yuri is also a winner of minor titles such as the NABF, and towards the end of his career, he got stopped in two title fights. Although he officially retired, he expressed his desire to return and fight before the end of 2023.
After the influence of his wife, the Belarusian boxer wanted to become selective in what he consumed and decided to try veganism. Yuri says today, he only goes out to certified restaurants and that at first, he could not even think he would shape his life around the new plant-based diet.
Jaime “Hurricane” Clampitt was born in 1976 in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan, Canada. Jaime is one of the more famous Canadian female boxers, who has won regional tournaments several times and raised her amateur record to 25 wins and six losses. Clampitt started competing professionally in 2000 and is still active, which is impressive considering she is over 45.
This brave female fighter achieved 25 victories with seven knockouts and six defeats and is also the winner of international titles such as WBA-NABA and WBF in the lightweight and super lightweight divisions. Hurricane has boxed ten times in 29 matches with the title on the line. In 2013, Jaime completely switched to a vegan diet, which, even at her age, keeps her ready for action.
She decided to take this step because of her second pregnancy and the problems she had while carrying her second child. Clampitt has the same reason as the other boxers on the list: her desire to fight against animal cruelty gave her the impetus to turn to a vegan diet.
Jamal Le Doux
Jamal Le Doux, nicknamed “Lethal,” was born in 1991 in Staffordshire, United Kingdom. Le Doux debuted in 2017 and stayed on the boxing scene for a short time until 2021, boxing in 10 matches around England. In four years of competition, Jamal recorded eight victories, four of which were knockouts and two defeats by the referee’s decision.
He fought his last match in 2021 against Germaine Brown in a super-middleweight title eliminator fight where he lost on points after a fierce fight. Le Doux is currently inactive, and given that Jamal is a young fighter, he hopes to return to his professional career as soon as possible and achieve great results.
Right after the defeat, he decided to start watching what he eats, so he switched to veganism and drew attention to the importance of that diet. Since then, Jamal’s performance has improved in training. It is easier for him to maintain his weight and is at full strength. He says that he has improved cardio, but that apart from his physical performance, Le Doux is much more stable with his emotions and has stronger morale, adding that he has discovered his purpose in life.
Unsal Mukadder Arik was born in 1980 in Bavaria, Germany, and is a Turkish professional boxer. Unsal has always been devoted to sports but opened his athletic career by playing football. However, after a career-ending injury, he turned to boxing, which he started training relatively late at 27.
Nonetheless, this did not prevent him from achieving impressive results because from 2011 to 2022, Unsal achieved a record of 38 wins, knocking out 29 opponents and having only two losses. He won two German international championships (BDB, GBA), two world championships (WBF, GBU), is a multiple European champion (UBF, GBF), Intercontinental and International (IBF), and even managed to win the Asian WBC championship.
In 2017, Unsal turned to a vegan diet, and after winning several titles, it turned out to be a good decision. One of the reasons he excelled at changing his diet is because of the fight against animal cruelty. His strength, speed, and endurance are still present qualities and in an improved version thanks to the plant-based diet. Unsal says that boxing is a game of the brain, and because of his life decisions, he sees things much more clearly. Besides boxing, he likes to participate in other sports, and his veganism helps him get the rest he deserves.
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