The moment is usually the first highlight of a boxing match. But this does not happen neither in the ring nor around it. Before the exchange of fists, like a parenthesis where the two fighters evaluate each other, observe each other, sometimes argue. Under the worried or serene gaze of the staff, to the sound of the crackling of the cameras, the episode can sometimes even be eliminatory, like the misfortune experienced by the American Joseph Diaz, deprived of his IBF super featherweight belt, in 2021, due to until surpassing the weight on the scale a few hours before his duel against the Tajik Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov.
The weigh-in, considered by many boxers as a “fight before the fight,” illustrates the ambiguous relationship that athletes maintain with their body mass. “It has always been very hard for me, confides Karim Guerfi (former European cock and feather champion). During the year I am about ten kilos above my category. Five days before the fight, I am often still five kilos overweight. This is where we enter the home stretch. » In other words, the beginning of “weight reduction.”
Lose weight by voluntarily dehydrating yourself
This process is used by most to lose a lot of weight in a very short time. But the excesses of the practice fueled the chronicle. To the extreme. In 2015, Chinese wrestler Yang Jian Bing (MMA) died from “severe dehydration.” Consequence of a “weight cut” that his body could not support. A rare case, not isolated. Despite the health dangers of this phenomenon, it remains widespread in combat disciplines.
Karim Guerfi details the procedure to follow: “Five kilos to lose in three or four days may seem like a lot. But let’s play with the percentage of water in the body. Two days earlier, I wasn’t drinking more than a liter during the day, despite two great training sessions. The next day I only drink 50 cl, always maintaining the same pace. And the day before the weigh-in I don’t drink and I train anyway. And during this entire period I also eat very little. »
When I got up, I had a complete “blackout” that lasted several seconds. I didn’t see anything anymore, I didn’t hear anything anymore
— Karim Guerfi, before a fight in Panama.
Through “weight cutting,” the boxer will lose weight simply by urinating and sweating. Some examples are edifying. During UFC 216, Kevin Lee lost 8 kilos in the space of 24 hours. “I remember a fight…