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Me and my health: Tommy McCarthy on his lifestyle


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Tommy McCarthy

Tommy McCarthy

All smiles: Tommy McCarthy with wife Amy and daughters, Cara, Aniya, Branna and Kiya

All smiles: Tommy McCarthy with wife Amy and daughters, Cara, Aniya, Branna and Kiya

Winning way: Tommy McCarthy in the ring

Winning way: Tommy McCarthy in the ring

Tommy McCarthy

The WBC International cruiserweight boxing champion (29) from west Belfast is ranked top 15 in the world, currently mandatory for the European title, and is hoping to get a date in the coming weeks, as well as a world title shot. He is married to Amy and has four daughters, Cara (13), Branna (9), Aniya (1) and Kiya (9 months).

Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?

A: I train twice a day from Sunday to Friday, with Saturday being my rest day. I do my boxing sessions in the morning. These sessions consist of hitting the bags and pads, some technical work and sparring, then running or strength and conditioning in the afternoon, depending on the day. I'm not a fan of running on the roads so I do most of my running on a treadmill - a lot of interval sprints with varied incline and speeds. My cousin Lloyd Edwards does my S&C - he has put a personalised sports-specific programme together. The aim is to build strength and be explosive so that I can punch harder and faster in the ring. Everything that I do in training must transfer over to the fight - that is the ultimate goal of a training camp.

Q: What is the worst illness you've had?

A: Thankfully I've never suffered from any serious illnesses. Hopefully this remains the fact throughout the rest of my life.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: My wife does the cooking, so we eat very healthy food in my house. Amy hates fast food and is adamant that our kids have a clean diet. We do not have fizzy juice in the house either. I try to throw in a few cheat meals here and there, but it doesn't happen very often - it makes life that bit easier when it comes to weight.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: I'm in a bad habit of cursing. I never used to curse as much when I was younger. But the older I get, the more it seems the F-word has snuck into my vocabulary. I'm trying to cut it out though. I'm a work in progress at the minute.
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Winning way: Tommy McCarthy in the ring

Winning way: Tommy McCarthy in the ring

Winning way: Tommy McCarthy in the ring

Q: Do you drink and smoke/if so how much?

A: I don't smoke. I tried it once when I was in secondary school and it was disgusting. I didn't like the taste or the smell, so I never tried it again. I do enjoy a drink in between fights. When I'm preparing for a fight I live like a monk, so when I get the chance to socialise with friends it's great to have a few beers and catch up. I love a nice creamy pint of Guinness. They say the black stuff has plenty of iron in it - I don't know how true that is but I'll take it.

Q: Do you take any supplements?

A: I take a variety of supplements during my fight camps. My coach gave me a list of products to help me get the best out of my workouts and also be able to recover. I use protein shakes, BCAA, ZMA, and multivitamin. I take vitamin D everyday. Vitamin D is very important, especially for people of colour, as we do not get enough of it naturally in this part of the world.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: I use my down-time listening to and playing music. I come from a very musical family, so you could say it's in my blood. I'm a fan of R&B, soul, reggae and hip hop. I also use the time off to be with my wife and daughters. I try to create as many good memories for them as possible.

I'm an only child so I always wanted to have a big family when I grew up, so that's what I did. Amy and the girls are very supportive of me and my career. They love to see their daddy boxing and winning on the TV. It gives me great pride to be able to live my boyhood dream as a job and have a beautiful family too.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: I sleep well considering I have two young babies. I'll sleep even better when they get a bit older. I always aim to get eight hours a night but as I say, sometimes it's out of my control when the girls wake up during the night. I try to squeeze in 40 winks when I can if they have naps during the day.

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All smiles: Tommy McCarthy with wife Amy and daughters, Cara, Aniya, Branna and Kiya

All smiles: Tommy McCarthy with wife Amy and daughters, Cara, Aniya, Branna and Kiya

All smiles: Tommy McCarthy with wife Amy and daughters, Cara, Aniya, Branna and Kiya

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: I try not to worry about the future - I do my best to live in the present. If I was to worry about getting old, I wouldn't enjoy being young. However, I do plan on living a long life. It would be great to become a grandfather one day. My wife and I had our kids at a young age so I should see great grandkids too - maybe even great, great grandchildren. It's definitely a possibility, although I'd like my daughters to wait a bit longer than we did before they have children of their own.

Q: What is your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: I don't use any health products, just plenty of fruit and veg. Mangoes, pineapples and pears are my top choices. In terms of vegetables I love broccoli, sweetcorn, sweet potatoes and some good old Irish spuds.

I was always told by my coaches over the years that everything you need to be healthy can be found in food. This is the reason why I never bought into health products.

Tommy was offered the chance to fight for the world title in France prior to the Covid-19 lockdown and is hoping another opportunity will present itself when the restrictions are lifted. Follow Tommy on Twitter and Instagram (@tommymac90) for his latest updates

Belfast Telegraph