I'm hooked on sweet science of boxing ... even when I get beaten up

I'm hooked on sweet science of boxing ... even when I get beaten up

06/04/2015 at 12:16Updated

In penning his latest blog, Ronnie explains why he loves boxing so much. He tells Eurosport's Desmond Kane about his training regime ahead of his bid to win a sixth world snooker title in Sheffield later this month, and why breaking his foot led to him getting the gloves on in the ring. He also writes about the importance of eating well to boost his self-esteem.

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Ronnie has taken up boxing as part of his fitness regime.

Since breaking the foot before the UK Championship in December, I've had to use the gym. I was gutted at the time. The thought of not running was killing my spirits.

I'd worked so hard to get fit. Last August, I was bloated and overweight, feeling really bad about my appearance and self-esteem.

It took me two months of solid training afterwards to get some sort of base fitness under my belt.

By the time I went to Chengdu in China to play in the International Championship in October, I was feeling really good. I was even training twice a day in Chengdu just to break the boredom up between matches.

I turned Chengdu into a training camp, and the snooker became secondary to me on that trip.

I didn't want to come back from Chengdu having not got something from the trip. I got something from it even though I lost to Mark Williams in the last eight - I came home feeling very fit and running really well.

I've always loved the feeling of working to exhaustion when I'm training. Running doesn't always allow that as it's an impact sport.

There is lots of pounding on the joints that makes it hard to run hard every day, but with the cross trainer and the gym it allowed me to use different muscle groups and different types of training which meant I could really push myself hard on a regular basis.

I kind of got into working out on the cross trainer, which was great for the heart and lungs, and good for my cardio, which for me is always essential to have when being fit. I'm not a muscles type of trainer or lifting weights - I much prefer the athletic side of training.

The broken foot was a nightmare. The timing was not good, not that there's a good time to break your foot, but I was looking forward to the cross country season - that's the type of running I like to do.

Boxing has been a terrific alternative. The gym I train in has a boxing ring in there. I've never boxed before so I was kind of cautious of getting in the ring, but some of the lads in there assured me I would be fine.

So in I go. It's the best training I've ever done, and the time passes so quickly. I started off doing two rounds, but now I'm up to 6-10 rounds and I'm loving every minute of it. At first I was a bit stiff, and I had no flow, but the more I do the better I feel my punches and the defence improves.

It's the defence that gets me - I was so open the guys were picking me off at will, but gradually I'm finding ways to cover up and stay out of the way. That's when I realised there's an art to anything you do in life. The good fighters make it look so easy. They see everything in slow motion, they know exactly what's going to happen before it even happens.

I'm hooked on it. It's the greatest sport in the world. There's a sweet science to the sport - I get what Lennox Lewis used to say about the sweet science of boxing.

I still keep the cross trainer going as I love the cardio side of that plus it's great on the joints. Plus I can go as hard as I can without the impact.

It's a win-win situation with that one. I've also kept the running up, but I've found I'm not as fast as I used to be. I can knock 7 miles out in 49 mins, which isn't bad. The feeling of covering the ground at seven minutes per mile is a nice feeling.

You actually feel like you are motoring along. It is such an addictive feeling - jogging is a waste of time. Anything around 7.30 per mile and below is a decent pace to run. As long as I can keep that up, happy days.

The day I can't, is the day I won't run again. I will turn myself completely to the boxing and the gym.
It's so good to find something you really enjoy. Especially when it's a sport that releases the endorphins - there is no better buzz.

Five-times world snooker champion meets the fans in China.

MY FOOD TIP FOR THE TOP: PEANUT BUTTER AND RYE BREAD IS A CHAMPION SNACK

Another thing I've really focused on is my diet. I'm eating lots of grilled fish vegetables and salads. Porridge for breakfast, and egg omelettes with only the whites.

Also, as a snack I've been eating rye bread with peanut butter. It's a great snack that can keep you full for a while. And is also good for you. I've learned that nutrition is a massive deal. You are what you eat, I really believe that.

Eating the right foods, but it is also so important in how food is cooked - I try to roast or oven cook most of my food. I will fry my tuna fish as that's not a bad way to cook it..

Ronnie has developed a likineg for peanut butter and rye bread.

Tuna is a great source of protein, one of my mates got me on that. I didn't really like it before, and tuna for me has to be raw in the middle otherwise it's too dry and doesn't have a lot of taste, but I just fry it for 45 seconds each side.

Season it with salt and pepper, drizzle a bit of olive oil and squeeze a bit of lime or lemon juice on it. And away you go, you get a fantastic bit of food. And it is great for your health.

The 2015 World Snooker Championship at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre begins on Saturday, April 18 with extensive live coverage on British Eurosport.

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