Louisiana-born and Houston-based heavyweight Justin Jones is still a relative unknown on the world boxing scene, but based on the support he receives in training, that may be about to change.
Heading up the team is Jones’ advisor, a man once known as the youngest promoter in Louisiana State history, Kerry Daigle.
Daigle, a long-time respected staple of the Southern boxing scene, as well as a top executive for Juice Plus personal health and safety products, brought in some medical heavy hitters to assist coaches Maurice “Termite” Watkins and Eleazar Renteria with the hidden side of training a fighter: nutrition.
Dr. Roy Vartabedian is a best-selling international author who has specialized in the field of health promotion and disease prevention for over 30 years. He also holds a Master of Public Health degree in Health Education and Nutrition.
Vartabedian’s book, Nutripoints, was a New York Times Best-Seller, and has been used in a total of 13 countries in 10 languages worldwide.
“The challenge is when these guys are working out so much, once or twice a day, they’re actually having a problem with losing muscle because it’s hard for them to eat enough calories to maintain their weight,” said Vartabedian, “or the way they do it is unhealthy which will decrease their stamina and endurance.”
The average person, says Vartabedian only needs 2000 to 2500 calories per day. Heavyweight fighters in training need somewhere in the neighborhood of 4000 to 4500.
“Justin is at 232 lbs right now. He’s at his best at 238. So, he wants to be on an alkaline diet, which supposedly creates alkalinity in the body which is healthier than acidity for peak performance. That’s means a plant-based and unprocessed food diet. The problem with that kind of diet is it’s very high in bulk and low on calories. What I’ve done is fine tune it for him. I’ve given him a list of high-calorie, good fat foods and added them to his diet so he’s getting more calories and good fats and more fibre. I’m recommending to increase calories in a healthy way with lots of almonds, cashews, sunflowers seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, macadamia nuts, all unsalted. This will add about 500 calories to a person’s diet in about three handfuls a day.”
Dr. Charles H. Campbell is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, specializes in retinal disease. A world-renowned surgeon and the founder and Medical Director of South Texas Retina Consultants, Campbell has given his life to the treatment of macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments and tears, macular holes and puckers, floaters, retinal vein occlusions, complications of cataract surgery, vitritis/uveitis.
Campbell has also lent his talents and know-how to the management of fighters, including former heavyweight contender Skip Scott.
“We’re making sure he stays in shape by maintaining a clean lifestyle,” said Campbell. “We make sure he’s eating right. I feel like athletes think they can get all the protein they want, but most of us get 110 grams a day, which is way too much. So, we can regulate his water and protein intake. He probably needs 10-12 servings of fruit, so we give him Juice Plus which is proven to put about 6 ½ servings into your body.”
Campbell says a common mistake fighters make is in their fluid intake.
“Most of these athletes don’t drink enough water. For his size he probably needs a gallon and a half a day. But mostly, I hope to help him make sure he doesn’t get off track and eat bad foods.”
Daigle has big plans for Jones, who recently signed with Warriors Boxing and Leon Margules, one of the top promotional firms in the world. It was Warriors Vice-President Dominic Pesoli who first gave Jones the added moniker of “Triple J.”
“There is no heavyweight that has better foot movement and throws more combinations than Triple J,” said Daigle. “Once given the opportunity Justin will surprise the world. There are a lot of taller heavyweights that are rated in the top 10 in every sanctioning body. These guys are made-to-order for him. We are excited about his future in the NEW heavyweight division.”
The fighter himself says the help of his medical dream team has been immeasurable already.
“The difference has been incredible,” said Jones. “I don’t want this secret to get out to other fighters! They both got me on Juice Plus for all its healthy vegetables and fruits and they’ve really changed my diet and given me a world of information on how to be healthy. I’ve changed how I eat with their help and it’s really benefitting me. I feel better more energized. When I started training I was 264. My last fight I was 230. It’s just getting me fit. Like a machine that can just go and go and go. That’s what they’re doing for me. I’m eating the right things to stay big but be in perfect shape at this size. I’m eating to gain weight and turning it to athletic muscle. They’re awesome. They’ve made a believer out of me.”