How Many Training Sessions Do You Have Each Week And What Aspects Do They Cover?
AJ: “Throughout the week I have 15 training sessions and that covers a period of Monday-Friday and on Saturday and Sunday I do more recovery stuff. Within those training sessions I cover;
Cardio – That’s always first thing in the morning
Strength – That’s always in the afternoon and when we’re boxing specific drills, which is in the evening”.
“Keep on breaking through those boundaries and follow the dream.”
Give Us A Typical Day’s Eating And The Staple Foods You Include In Your Diet?
AJ: “So my daily routine of food looks like; eggs, porridge and yogurts. Fruits in the morning and then we go on to jacket potatoes – tuna, mayo, sweetcorn with some Beetroot and I have to get my veg in. Also in the evening, I take some chicken and rice with Mash Potato and I make sure I have a lot of veg as well. I make sure I’ve got a lot of water and in between sessions I like my protein shakes.”
How Do You Spend Your Time Off When You Want To Unwind?
AJ: “On a typical rest day, I like to spend as much time as I can sleeping and recovering, not so I’ve missed a day but just so I’ve got enough rest. I like to book in a Deep Tissue Massage and I make sure I have a stretch. In the evening before the next day starts, I like to do Sauna Steaming and a bit of Jacuzzi.”
What Are The Toughest Aspects Of Your Job?
AJ: “The toughest aspects of my job are being consistent every day. Being 100% every day. You have to attack the gym with full energy, full focus and willing to improve your last session. That’s what’s hard. It’s easy to fall off, be complacent and just get in the routine of things. You always have to start the day fresh and attack it 100%.”
What Do You Enjoy Most About Your Job?
AJ: “The things that I enjoy most about my job is the fact that I have a job. Not everyone’s lucky enough to have work so I’m enjoying the fact that I’ve got a great opportunity, I meet great people, I work with great people and I enjoy beating people up! That’s just the life that I chose, that’s what I’ve fallen into and I’m gonna make do and make the most of it.”
What’s Your Favourite Holiday Destination & Why?
AJ: “If I had to choose one of my favourite holiday destinations, I’d have to pick Barbados and the reason is it’s chilled out, I’m an athlete so I need my recovery. Also, I like fresh food, I catch my fish from the sea, eat on the beach, it’s a family destination and also you can have your fun with your friends if need be.”
Do You Have Any Heroes? If So, Who & Why?
AJ: “Everyone asks who my hero is and I look around the sporting industry and I do appreciate what people have achieved but when I look at who my hero is, it has to be my Mother. She’s the creator, she makes me what I am, she really supports me and as I’ve got older, I’ve become the man of the house. My Mum looks at me and we have a great relationship and I’d do anything for her and she does the same for me and that’s just the way a Mother’s relationship should be with her Son. I don’t think I would’ve been able to achieve everything I have in the sport of Boxing without her behind my back.”
What’s Your Favourite Film & Why?
AJ: “My favourite film is very different, it’s not one that’s been publicised everywhere and been heavily promoted but it’s called “Apocalypto”. It’s my favourite film because it’s very natural, it goes back to the people of The Amazon. I don’t know where they found the cast members because they have all their piercings, all things that Amazonian people would have, speaking a native language. It’s a film that has subtitles as well but it has so much action, it’s one of those films that are action first, ask questions later so you don’t get so caught up in what’s being said, you’re just so caught up in the action. It’s a good two hour film so you have to take your time but it’s one I wouldn’t miss.”
If You Could Fight Anyone, Dead Or Alive, Who Would It Be?
AJ: “If I could choose anyone to fight dead or alive, the guy I would choose, he’s alive right now and his name is Evander Holyfield. He’s an Olympian so he’s got a great pedigree from the amateurs, he came through the Cruiserweight Division, became the champion, stepped up to the Heavyweight Division and became a champion. When I talk about the whole package of Evander Holyfield, he’s one of the men who beat the baddest man on the planet, who is Mike Tyson. He’s got all-round style so he can box like Lennox Lewis and Muhammad Ali did. He knows how to fight and throw short hooks, throw body shots and uppercuts just like Tyson and Sonny Liston did. Holyfield would be someone who would test me as a fighter because he’s the full package.”
What Has Been The Proudest Moment Of Your Career To Date?
AJ: “The proudest moment of my career to date has to result back to something that isn’t such an achievement for the public or anyone around me, it’s just something I noticed and it was when my Mum started taking more notice of my career and how serious I took it. As I said before, without the support of your family, I don’t think anything is achievable. My Mum started really like “Son, why aren’t you training?”, “Son, why aren’t you eating this?”, “Son, why aren’t you resting?” so I started seeing that she had my back and she wanted me to do well so she believed in my dream just as much I did. That was a great achievement for me, a great point in my career when I realised I want my dream just as much as the person closest to me does.”
If You Weren’t A Boxer, What Do You Think You’d Be Doing?
AJ: “Before Boxing I was in the construction industry doing bricklaying so that was my dream then but as I’ve got on in life, I like the sound of being an accountant and the reason is because when I asked my accountant why did he become an accountant, he told me that you can look at people’s accounts and see people’s businesses that are doing well and aren’t doing well so you have a real insight of what’s what working and what’s not working in the world. Rather than looking at it from a marketing point of view, you get to see what’s really going on in the accounts.”
What One Piece Of Advice Would You Give a Youngster Who Wants To Be The Next AJ?
AJ: “If I had to give a youngster a piece of advice and wants to follow in my footsteps, I’d tell him that sometimes you have to understand the struggle and share your struggle rather than your success so I want them to understand that before the bright lights, the success and the attention comes the non-believers, the doubters, the critics and the people that don’t want you to achieve your dream. I’d tell them to keep on breaking through those boundaries and follow their dream. Once you’re there, it seems everyone wants a piece of you. Rather than trying to look for the easy route early on, show your strength, your determination and your discipline and once you’re there, you’ve already got the foundations. What you’ll achieve will be bigger than anyone that’s laid the path before you.”