'I think men are much weaker than women': Under the microscope with Joe Calzaghe
01:25 GMT, 22 January 2013
01:25 GMT, 22 January 2013
The former world champion and Strictly star, 40, on getting man flu, pushing himself to stay in shape and having a high pain threshold
'Compared to a regular 40-year-old I'm pretty fit,' said Joe Calzaghe
STILL FIT AT 40
I’m nowhere near fighting condition, but compared to a regular 40-year-old I’m pretty fit. I still work out five days a week. I’ll do a three-mile run in 30 minutes and then some weights and core (abdominal) exercises. I don’t box any more at all. When you finish a professional sports career, you can become lazy and in the months after my retirement in 2009, I rested, went on holiday, ate and did nothing, so put on several stone. I have to push myself to stay in shape.
SO YOU LIKE YOUR FOOD
Being half Welsh and half Italian, I’m really spoilt. My dad and all his brothers are great cooks, so when I go home I fill up on pasta and bread, although I try to be careful not to overdo it. I also love Thai food and I have a real sweet tooth, which is why I still have to train most days. My fight weight was 14st 7lb (I’m 6ft); these days, I try not to get above 15st.
I had meningitis when I was 18. I came home from a boxing trip with a massive headache and a really high temperature. I went to the doctor the next day, he took one look at me and rushed me to hospital — I needed a lumbar puncture, which was agonising because the trainee doctor couldn’t do it properly. That took my mind off my throbbing headache, though. I was in hospital another two days.
DO YOU HAVE A HIGH PAIN THRESHOLD, THEN
I think it’s pretty good with boxing all those years. The most pain I’ve ever had was actually a hand injury in a fight in 2005. I smacked my metacarpal bone at the back of my left hand. It was the most excruciating pain I’d ever felt. I had to fight the last eight rounds with one hand. Once you start, you can’t take a time out. I still managed to win. I had to keep having cortisone injections in my hand after that because it was never 100 per cent again and later on in my career it got worse and worse. It contributed to my retirement because it had got to the point when I couldn’t train.
POP ANY PILLS
I take vitamin C, a multivitamin, omega-3 and ginseng to keep my energy levels up and ward off colds.
'I don't box any more at all. When you finish a professional sports career, you can become lazy,' said Joe
TRIED ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES
When I boxed, I used to suffer quite a lot with back spasms down my left-hand side, so I tried acupuncture for that. It eased it a bit, but didn’t make a massive improvement.
EVER GOOGLED A HEALTH PROBLEM
I’d had pains in my side for quite a while earlier this year and before I had a chance to speak to my friend who’s a doctor and a professor, I looked it up online. It came up as liver cancer! I was freaking out, but my friend said I just had a virus.
WOULD YOU HAVE PLASTIC SURGERY
I wouldn’t want it done. I’m fortunate that I never had my nose bashed in, otherwise I would have sorted that.
IS MAN FLU A MYTH
I think men are much weaker than women. I regularly get man flu. Men are just whingers.
Joe Calzaghe is a patron of the charity BeatBullying, beatbullying.org