WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley explains the reasons behind his strict vegan diet and the benefits of sticking to this strategy when a fight is coming up. On October 12th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Bradley will defend his championship against former four division beltholder Juan Manuel Marquez.
You stick to a very strict vegan diet before all of your fights. What’s the story behind this decision? Have you always done this throughout your career?
Bradley - "I have used this diet since 2008. I first tried it when I was preparing for my challenge of WBC super lightweight champion Junior Wittier -- my first world title fight -- and after seeing the results it gave me I have tried to stay as loyal to it as possible.
"It helps keep my body clean and it provides me with a tremendous amount of energy due to my body spending less energy breaking down foods like meats. This is a big key factor in my fitness.
"I told a reporter recently that I feel totally superior over any athlete who gets into the ring with me. The energy is always there. I feel so alive. My senses and reflexes are so acute. It's an incredible feeling. Rest, preparation, rest, hard work - but rest is very important. It gives you the right kind of balance.
"With a vegan diet you always have energy, so much that sometimes I have trouble sleeping at night. You feel light. You don't feel bulky or heavy. This would benefit any athlete in any sport."
In my hometown, the Palm Greens Cafe prepare my meals for the week and deliver them to my house. The owners even named a special smoothie after me - "The Bradley Ultra Greens," which includes kale, spinach, apple, ginger, mint, banana with other ingredients. They're great folks!
"The Vegan Diet means no meat or dairy products whatsoever. It makes me feel so much better going into this big fight against Marquez. When my fight with Marquez is over the needle on my energy gauge will still read Full because of my diet and training regimens.
"You will see my physique. I will be a lean, mean fighting machine when I get into the ring and beat Marquez on October 12."
24/7 Bradley/Marquez episode 2 debuts Sat., Oct. 5 on HBO.
Bradley vs. Marquez takes place Sat., Oct. 12 live on HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT.