Eating like a champion: Daniel Jacobs gets cooking with Chris Algieri

Middleweight Jacobs has added professional boxer and performance nutrition coach Algieri to his team in preparation for his title bout with unified champion Gennady Golovkin on March 18.

Chris Algieri (left) has become an integral part of Daniel Jacobs' training team for his upcoming bout with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/K2 Promotions
Chris Algieri (left) has become an integral part of Daniel Jacobs' training team for his upcoming bout with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/K2 Promotions

SAN DIEGO, March 6, 2017 – If Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs hears “And the new” after defeating unified middleweight champion Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin on March 18, it won’t be a miracle. It will be the result of hard work in the gym and plenty of work in the kitchen, too.

Welterweight boxer Chris Algieri brings his training in nutrition science to Jacobs’ team for this fight, working with his fellow New York native on the proper dietary preparation for the fight. It is the first time Jacobs and Algieri have worked together, but not the first time Algieri has advised fighters on their dietary needs.

“I’ve done this a number of years for different combat sports, MMA, UFC, Bellator, and boxing,” said Algieri, naming Paulie Malignaggi and Luis Arias as two of his clients.

Watch Algieri and Jacobs as he prepares meals during the HBO Sport special “24/7: Golovkin vs. Jacobs.” NOTE: Algieri appears approximately 22:40 minutes into the show.

Algieri isn’t the first nutritionist or chef to work with a professional boxer. But he appears to be the first college-trained nutritionist who can also say he is a former world boxing and kickboxing champion himself. Algieri holds a Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from the New York Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Care Science from Stony Brook University. Algieri is also a Certified Sports Nutritionist by The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) and a Fitness Nutrition Coach through the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA). He is the former WBO World Junior Welterweight Champion and former ISKA and WKA World Kickboxing Champion. If Read his LinkedIn page or his website and you’ll be even more impressed with his knowledge.

Algieri says he began training camp by focusing on the proper ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and micronutrients to fuel Jacobs properly to get through his strenuous workouts and allow him to fully recover. It’s easy to count calories, but our bodies are more complicated than that.” Algieri says nutrition is also about varying protein sources, colors for appeal, and a regimented timing of meals.

Did Algieri think Jacobs was doing anything wrong before he signed on? Not in terms of food choices, but in allowing himself enough recovery. “Recovery sessions are also my concern. Getting rest, not overtraining too early. It’s easy to push too much each session, and your mind is also busy in between. Rest and recovery is important at the highest level,” explains Algieri.

Daniel Jacobs has moved his training camp to Virgil Hunter's gym in Oakland, California, working with his trainer Andre Rozier and nutritionist Chris Algieri. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/K2 Promotions
Daniel Jacobs has moved his training camp to Virgil Hunter’s gym in Oakland, California, working with his trainer Andre Rozier and nutritionist Chris Algieri. Photo: Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/K2 Promotions

Algieri is working with Jacobs as he trains in Oakland, California with trainer Andre Rozier at Virgil Hunter’s gym. Algieri is also participating in workouts alongside Jacob, and observing his performance at close range from both his boxer and nutritionist’s perspective.

“When he’s sparring, I’m watching and offering observations. I have a lot of daily contact with him. But as a fighter, I know it’s good to have some silence, and let the mind recover. He’s working harder than ever, pushing every session,” said Algieri. “I’m having to pull him back to rest and recover.” Algieri says Jacob’s team sees him picking up his intensity and his workload.

“He hits extremely hard with both hands. I think we’re in a great place right now. The momentum is on our side. Camp has been fun.” Algieri has also been company and a sounding board while Jacobs is far from his home in New York during camp.

Chris Algieri and Daniel Jacobs go for a run during training camp. Photo: Courtesy Chris Algieri/Instagram

Algieri says the most common mistake many boxers make is restricting their water intake, especially too soon before a bout. “Restricting water doesn’t help you make weight. It doesn’t help your performance. You can’t take punches as well. You have a higher risk for brain injury,” explaining the need to maintain brain fluids which protect the nerves and help them function.

What outcome is Algieri looking for as part of Jacob’s team on March 18? “I think it will help with his condition. I want him to be snappy, to move well on his feet, to be quick with his mind.

“What we did early in camp is starting to show up now. I’m very pleased at this point. Some people are talking about his being so heavy (Jacob’s 30-day weight was 175 pounds, 15 about the middleweight limit. Gennady Golovkin weighed in at 165 pounds). “He weighed in at home. He’d eaten twice and was hydrated. I have no desire to have my athletes dehydrated at any time. To hit a number to please the fans, I don’t care about it,” said Algieri.

Once Jacobs makes weight the afternoon of Friday, March 17, will Algieri have a special pre-fight meal ready? Algieri says it’s completely up to Jacobs, but his own pre-fight favorite is a plate of pasta and meatballs, “carbs, protein, and good fats.”

Algieri is enjoying his role a nutritionist and working with Jacobs as a client. “He really is a miracle man. It’s an incredible story. To hear about his bout with cancer and hearing it from him, it’s an incredible story. It feels good, it’s a heartwarming story. It’s good when the guy’s personality backs it up, too.”

If Jacobs wins March 18, count on Algieri’s inbox and voicemail being full with more client requests by March 19.

Golovkin vs. Jacobs airs on HBO PPV on Saturday, March 18, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News when quoting from or linking to this story.

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