World champion boxer and WBO Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao and WBO Light Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley Jr. will face off in the ring on June 9 for Pacquiao’s title, in what is sure to be a hugely-watched fight. And while Pacquiao is pretty widely favored to win, he’s admitted that Bradley is “a different kind of fighter.” Could it be because Bradley has a secret weapon that a lot of endurance athletes seem to be touting lately– a vegan diet?
Bradley recently told ESPN that he felt strong and confident coming into the fight, which was announced in February, due in large part to his vegan diet. Here’s what he had to say about it:
It gives me a lot of fuel to train hard. Recovery’s a lot quicker, digestion’s a lot quicker…I’m able to use energy a lot faster than if I was consuming animal protein. I feel great.
And he’s not alone; male endurance athletes like Rich Roll, Scott Jurek, and Lance Armstrong have all come out in favor of a vegan diet, despite the public perception that veganism is necessarily lacking in protein and other nutrients, and that vegetarian food is for wimps.
What’s interesting about Bradley is that he’s not running ultramarathons–he’s taking on a powerhouse of a man in the ring, where the two will try to knock each other out. It could certainly be helpful in training and cutting weight–vegan protein sources tend to be lower in saturated fats than animal proteins, which could definitely help a fighter stay lean–but you can be sure that there will be plenty of onlookers wondering if a vegan diet be enough fuel to win a Welterweight title.
Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. will face each other in Las Vegas on June 9th.
Image via Bleacher Report