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  • Dexter Hastings

Cutting Weight The Wrong Way.

Cutting Weight The Wrong Way

After the shock 1st round stoppage defeat of unbeaten boxer Matt Sen on the Tommy Owens Promotions show "November 2 Remember", the “Slugger” Sen talked to me about his preparation for the fight and that it was his bad choices that lost him the fight. Matt talked candidly to me about his prep and mainly his dieting for the fight, he informed me “while I was out of camp I fell into the comfort trap of eating too much and putting on too much weight. My training itself was good but due to a poor diet and using extreme dieting methods I became ill only a few weeks before the fight and could not really train. Due to these dieting methods I felt flat throughout the last few weeks of training but felt I could still do this. Unfortunately, as the fight came closer I still was not loosing enough weight and began to allow my diet to become more extreme by water loading and cutting water.

The Cruiser-weight continued “A few days before the show to cut the last few pounds of weight, I started to limit my water intake basically dehydrating myself. I had heard of top pros doing this but for day before weigh ins and chose the 'what could go wrong attitude'. The day before the weight in and the fight I went to see my manager Jon Pegg, he weighed me to check where I was, I weighed in 14 stone 5 pounds which Jon said was fine as I was fully clothed and there was a bit of grace if I was over. I continued my drying out process for the rest of the day and hardly ate as I didn’t seem to have any appetite, this continued in to the next day, the day of the fight. When I stepped on the scales and the official announced I was 13 stone 12 pounds my self and my team were shocked. I felt flat and almost like a zombie but thought with a bit of food and water i'd easily be able to refuel in the 3-4 hour window before my fight.

After the weight in I started to try and take on water again but what ever I drank came back out as I was going to the toilet constantly, my appetite had not returned ether”.

“Leading up to the fight I didn’t feel 100 percent but thought I could get though this four rounder and keep my unbeaten record, at no point had I let my team know how I was feeling and if they asked me if I was o.k I would tell them I was fine. Half an hour or so before the fight and still feeling flat and empty, I thought it would be a good idea to have some sugary drinks, this gave me a instant sugar rush and while I was warming up and I felt great, but what goes up must come down. I had a massive sugar crash just as I was waiting to leave the dressing room, I felt weak, but as a fighter my ego took over and as my coaches and even the doctor’s asked if I was o.k I told them I was and proceeded to the ring”.

Once I had stepped into the ring I became dizzy and a little disoriented, however I thought 'ill just stay away from this guy... its only 4 rounds'.

The first time I was caught it instantly rocked me and I toppled over like an empty sack, to be honest the punch was not even that hard but as I have been told since the way I had deprived myself of water, any shot would have put me over. I struggled back to me feet and fueled with ego, wanting to continue my team done the right thing and through in the towel as they could see something was not right.

After the fight I owned up to what I had done and was completely honest with my team and the doctors informed me that what I had done had put my life at risk and was a dangerous way to lose weight especially for a contact sport”.

Matt expressed the reason he wanted to openly share his story was to let other fighters known that this way of cutting weight can be so detrimental not only to your career but also to your health and could even cost you your life.

Matt went on to tell me that this had been a real learning experience for him, stating he is usually mature and sensible about things but allowed himself to get dragged into a frantic cycle of dieting and that he will never let anything like this happen again. Matt then informed me he had already got a date for his next fight, February 2nd at the Holte Suite, Villa Park on another Tommy Owens Promotions show. Sen said I will learn from this and will be back in the ring in February with a hunger like never before and after winning that fight I will be looking for a rematch with Mirhosseini in April/ May with the hope of chasing that Midlands area title I want so badly, but before any of that all my focus is on concentrating on my come back in February.

Matt Finished by saying "This was a lesson, not losses. The only real loss, is a lesson not learning".

Dexter’s Thoughts

I have spared Matt on a number of occasions over his career and I was his last spar on the Monday before this fight. Now I may fancy myself as a decent boxer but getting in the ring with a unbeaten pro the week before he fights I was expecting a hard night of it. This did not happen and Matt to be fair did not look himself and after the spar he told me that he had been ill and did not seem himself. I have to say I was a bit concerned after that spar but when his weight was announced just before the fight I knew something was wrong. Matt is a heavy Cruiser-weight and always comes in just under the weight limit so when he came in 6 pounds under I knew something was not right. The stoppage looked brutal and thank god Matt was not severely hurt, he has told me he has learnt a lot from this and will not be doing this form of dieting again. He also wants to let other boxers know the dangers of this type of extreme dieting and the issues it can cause. Thankfully Matt is o.k and lives to fight another day and I am sure the "Slugger" will be back to winning ways in February but if this peace helps one boxer out there not to go to these extreme measures without talking to experts on how to lose weight then it will have been worth it.

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