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The boxing promoter on giving his unhealthy ways the old one-two…Eddie Hearn, How he lost 2 Stone in his forties.

 

Two years ago Eddie Hearn was best known for being the brash and braggadocious boxing promoter to elite fighters such as Anthony Joshua and Katie Taylor. Despite working alongside some of the fittest athletes on the planet, nobody knew him to be a health and wellbeing devotee. That’s because back then Hearn was stuck in a midlife rut.

 
“I was turning up to press conferences in my suits and they were tight. I felt like shit,” Hearn, 44, says from his office in Brentwood, Essex. “I wasn’t sleeping. I was finishing a show, going for something to eat and a few drinks and getting in at 4am. Then I was getting up at seven or eight and flying somewhere else. It took its toll on the way I looked and felt.”
 
At 6ft 5in Hearn’s a big man, but he weighed 119kg — almost 19st. At one point he got this down to 105kg, but having recently found a passion for lifting weights he’s up to 110kg.
 
He says he’s more comfortable in his body now, admitting that for the first time in years he has stopped obsessing over the numbers staring back at him from the bathroom scales. “I used to run with sweatsuits on sometimes, which is a psychological thing,” he says. “I love to sweat and I love to feel like I’ve lost weight on a run, but now I’m focused on being stronger and that’s a different mindset.”
Rewind the clock two years and it’s no exaggeration to say that he was hurtling towards an early grave. There’s a history of heart problems in his family. His 75-year-old dad — the inimitable promoter Barry Hearn — has had two heart attacks. Eddie’s grandfather and great-grandfather died from heart attacks aged 45 and 44. Had Eddie not changed his lifestyle then at best, he says, he wouldn’t have had the energy or appetite for the jet-set lifestyle of a boxing promoter. At worst, he could have gone the way of the other men in his family. “It sounds a bit OTT to say I might be dead,” he says, “but who knows?”
 
The first key factor was cutting down on alcohol. In the past, every time he ate out (which in his business is a lot) heavy plates of food would be accompanied by three or four glasses of wine. Now he just has water. “I couldn’t believe the difference it made,” he says.
 
He admits his relationship with food has always been a sore subject. But he stopped jumping on fad diets — “Atkins, low-carb, fasting and all this bollocks” — and began focusing on getting enough protein and carbs for his needs. Such was his weight loss, “people were saying, ‘You look a bit ill now, you need to put some weight back on,’ ” he says. The boxer Dillian Whyte told him, “You need to start lifting weights, mate. Your shoulders are non-existent.”
 
Hearn had done bits and pieces of strength training, but never anything serious or consistent. “When I started lifting weights I was really weak,” he says. “I go to a weightlifting gym in Brentwood and it’s full of big, strong men. I feel like my arms have doubled in size, but I’m still puny compared to them.”
 
A charge often levelled at Hearn is that it’s easier for wealthy people like him to transform their bodies. He doesn’t disagree. But when it comes to being disciplined, anyone can trip up. “The other day it was my daughter’s 11th birthday and I had fish and chips and a big slice of cake. I went to bed thinking, shit. But then I said to myself, you can’t expect to nail every day. You’re just a normal bloke, just try to make more good decisions than bad decisions.”