Mark Magsayo has tapped top-notch sports nutritionist Jeaneth Aro as he takes on American Garry Russel Jr., for the World Boxing Council featherweight title on Jan. 23 (Sunday in Manila) at the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
For Team Magsayo, it is very important that Aro personally takes care of the dietary needs of the Filipino challenger to keep his weight in check while maintaining his speed and power in his quest for a world title.
Aro has been providing nutritional instructions for Magsayo via online, but this time, she was called to join the Filipino boxer in the US.
“Finally, after 15 months of online coaching, magkasama na rin kami sa wakas sa laban,” said Aro in her post. “Huli man akong nakarating, nakahabol pa rin. Sabi nga ni Mark (Magsayo) ‘ Mam, talagang it’s meant to be’.”
Aro arrived on Tuesday in Philadelphia, three days before Magsayo’s about against Russel (31-1, 18 knockouts), who has not fought in nearly two years. Russel will defend his 126-pound title for the sixth time.
Magsayo, who is training under legendary coach Freddie Roach, is undefeated in 23 fights with 16 knockouts. He is coming off a spectacular 10th-round knockout victory over Mexican Julio Ceja on Aug. 21 last year in the US.
For the modern athlete, nutrition has become part of the scientific preparation for a big competition ahead. For Aro, it’s more important that she herself prepares the food for her athletes, just like what she has been doing for current International Boxing Federation junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.
Also in the US training for his next defense, Ancajas was the first marquee client of Aro in professional boxing. His coach, Joven Jimenez, claimed that Ancajas was no longer struggling to maintain his weight since being handled by Aro.
In an interview on Manila Standard’s online program Sports Locker sometime ago, Aro said it was a wrong notion that an athlete should be deprived of food prior to his/her weigh-in or competition.
“They can eat good food. The right food and in the right preparation,” said Aro, who is also the nutritionist for national athletes in boxing and the first Filipino Olympic gold medalist, lady weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz.