Lifestyles - Michael Carruth

Olympic boxing champion, Michael Carruth, reckons he has already slipped two stone over his fighting weight since his recent retirement from the fight game.

The man who thrilled the nation by winning gold in Barcelona eight years ago is now 33 and enjoying life away from the brutal training rituals that were a way of life to him for almost 20 years.

Recently, wife — Paula — gave birth to a little boy, Karl, to join three-year-old daughter, Leah. Carruth admits that family is now a priority over all else in his life.

He admits he has not been to the gym since quitting the cut-throat world of professional boxing but is now planning on paring away the excess poundage.

Michael reveals, "the pounds have been piling on since I quit the ring. I mean I'm a triplet and my brothers — Martin and William — are much bigger than me. Because of the years of endless training, I've effectively been restricting my growth all my life.

"So, now that I've stopped, I've got to watch myself. I could turn into a little Billy Bunter very quickly if I wasn't careful."

Carruth has set himself a weight-loss target for between now and Christmas but admits he has rejected Paula's suggestion that they attend Weight-watchers together to get their figures back.

"Without being arrogant" he says "I don't think there’s anything they could tell me about losing weight that I don't already know. I mean I've spent 20 years of my life losing weight. I know the right way and the wrong way."

He plans to return to the boxing gym, but strictly on his own terms. "It's not going to be a chore" he argues. "I'll be going in there purely because I want to. In the past, it was strictly a job. If you didn't put the hours in the gym, you ran the risk of getting hurt.

"Now I just want to get back into shape for my own self-respect more than anything."

Michael enjoys his food but plans on cutting back on Chinese takeaways and late-night snacking. He plans to exercise four days a week, be it jogging, skipping or — simply — walking.

He also intends eating more fruit and returning to the routine of water-intake that served him so well during a career in the ring.

"I'm not going to get boring about it" he says. "I think you always have to be able to break out now and again, otherwise it just wears you down. I'm actually looking forward to this because — for a change — I'm going to be getting in shape for me, not a fight promoter.

"I'm not exactly a big drinker but I think I might now cut out the beer for a while too because nothing gives you a gut quicker. It shouldn’t be much of a hardship because I've actually acquired a taste for wine.

"Anyway, I've got to do something. Otherwise I'll end up looking like my brothers!"

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