Exciting prospect Joshua Studdard changes division

Joshua Studdard training at his home gym in Sophiatown. / Thulani Mbele
Joshua Studdard training at his home gym in Sophiatown. / Thulani Mbele

Boxing prospect Joshua "TKO" Studdard is moving up the weight divisions from bantamweight to either junior featherweight or featherweight due to endless struggles he has had in making the officially required weight limit.

The 28-year-old qualified paramedic from Sophiatown also flagged the long-term danger of cutting down too much weight before a fight.

"Reducing too much weight is not good for my health and also other boxers in my situation. I'm much older than I was when I started as a flyweight fighter.

"I've been forcing to cut down weight in order to stay in the bantamweight weight division," he said.

Regarding losing weight, he said he was warned medically that this exercise catches up with you and it affects the brain later on in life.

"Around the brain there is a cerebrospinal fluid that protects the brain from the knocks, the impact of punches and bumps you may take on your head.

"While reducing weight, you lower the percentage of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain, and the injuries could be severe because there is not enough time to pick up the amount of fluid lost during weigh-in to time of fighting."

Studdard said many fighters pick up severe brain injuries during fights and some even die because of this and most people blame the sport due to lack of knowledge.

"Fortunately for me I have a team of medical experts, dieticians and nutritionists that advise me on what weight I should fight in and what diet plan I should follow to be strong in the weight division, and many boxers cannot
afford this," he said.

He added that he was told that an individual's body fat should not be less than 8% while reducing weight because this could lead to cardiac arrest (heat attack).

"That is because of the imbalance of electrolytes in the body," he said.

"It is impossible to pick up enough body fat and fluids in 24 hours prior to a boxing match [after weigh-in] to protect vital organs," he said.

Studdard - who lost his top five rating in the bantamweight division due to the break caused by injury - has nine wins with seven knockouts against two losses.

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