It’s a taboo subject and one that an adoring fan would rather not imagine, but who has it right between David Haye’s abstinence or Tyson Fury’s over-amorous approach to fights?
For the return fight with Wilder, Fury admitted to masturbating seven times per day as well as daily oral sex to strengthen his chin!
“I have got a lot of confidence in my chin, but I’ve been doing a lot of p**** licking to strengthen my jaw up,” the outspoken, often outrageous WBC heavyweight champion confessed.
The overuse of his wrists and jaw was to keep his testosterone pumping in the build up to the bout, which saw Fury win in seven one-sided rounds in February against the world’s most dangerous puncher, Deontay Wilder.
Fellow heavyweight world champion, David Haye had the opposite view to Fury. ‘The Hayemaker’ would abstain completely, for six weeks before a fight, claiming that it would release too much tension.
“Find a lion that hasn’t had some food for a while and you’ve got one dangerous cat,” the Londoner reasoned.
Regardless of the sport, mental strength and toughness play one of the most important roles when it comes to high performances. After all of the training, the effort might be in vain if the fighter is not mentally prepared to deal with the stress of the competition. Each individual has their own figures, but most would say that boxing is 80% physical and 20% mental. And that’s especially true when it comes to sports of full contact. No matter how used a boxer can be with the ring life, the brain still recognises every bout as a direct confrontation, and he needs total control over his fight or flight mechanism in order to keep a clear mind during the contest.
Cross-disciplinary studies have shown that professional athletes score higher on tests of planning strategy, reflection and self-regulation. And those who are more in control of their mind are usually those who perform better in competitions. And there’s where pornography can affect an athlete’s brain.
Studies have shown that porn affects the brain in the same way drugs do. Watching pornography is perceived by our brain as a fun activity, and it makes it releases dopamine, which is the neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. Basically, it triggers a reward mechanism, one that would normally be triggered by achieving a goal, like completing a vigourous training session.
That wouldn’t be a bad thing if it didn’t come with side effects, however. Feeling good, in general, can help you stay more focused on your training and diet schedule. That’s why meditation and psychological counselling are so important in the career of a boxer. But the good feeling that comes with watching porn pays a price. The repetitive stimulation of the reward system of our brain can lead to desensitisation. That’s why porn addicts, just like drug addicts, need to increase the dose to get the same feeling. And the dose in pornography addiction is grown through consuming things that are more and more exciting and extreme, such as gay porn games or family sex games. Some addicts start watching live cam performers, and they spend a lot of money on those girls, just to get that same rush and dopamine surge, leading to financial loss
Once this happens, it’s clear that porn took control over the dopamine system, and for an athlete that’s just as bad as sustaining a physical injury. With an unbalanced dopamine reward system, the motivational abilities of an athlete will suffer immensely, throwing him off the training schedule and dieting. And the addicted brain can also have issues with decision making and focusing, which in a sport like boxing can be disastrous in the long run.
That’s why psychologists are always recommending a stoic approach when it comes to training for a boxing career, which means not allowing the brain to be distracted by mundane and non-constructive pleasures. The reward mechanism of the brain should be activated through reaching goals and winning fights, not through shortcuts like drugs, alcohol or pornography.
Looks like David Haye got it right in the end.