Boxing’s biggest blue balls: The top fighters who banned sex before their bouts

Boxers go further than most.

They carry out gruelling regimes of pad work, running and sparring as they ready their bodies for 12-round wars.

For most this means no booze, junk food and a ban on partying.

And it also means dedicating themselves to weight loss so they can tip the scales under their chosen weight division.

But some go even further, abstaining from sex before their fights in the belief that it makes them punch harder.

Some fighters, including British legends Ricky Hatton and Anthony Joshua, believe a lack of bedroom action before a fight is harmful.

But there are also a string of fighters who cut out pre-fight romps altogether. Here they are:

Carl Froch

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Nottingham's hard-as-nails Carl Froch was blessed with a vicious right-hand and an abnormal ability to absorb pain.

This led to a string of stunning comebacks, along with his brutal KO of British rival George Groves in front of 80,000 people at Wembley Stadium (yes Carl, we know).

But behind his success was a punishing three-month ban from bedroom action with wife Rachel Cordingley.

After his win over Mikkel Kessler in 2013, he said: "We had a hot, steamy night of passion that had been building up for the last three months.

"So of course there were fireworks in the bedroom. A night of passion wins over a fight any day."

David Haye

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David Haye was once one of the most feared punchers in heavyweight boxing, using his athleticism to unleash explosive combinations on his opponents.

But he, too, refused to have sex in the run-up to his fights.

And not only this, but he quit masturbation too, insisting that he would even turn down women in his dreams.

He previously said: "I don’t ejaculate for six weeks before any boxing contest. It’s simple – it sounds a bit crazy."

Floyd Mayweather

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Floyd Mayweather is considered among the greatest boxers ever to have laced a pair of gloves.

His defensive wizardry – including his trademark shoulder-roll technique – led to an undefeated record of 50-0.

Before his fight with UFC star Conor McGregor, under boxing rules in 2017, he revealed he would not be having sex before the opening bell.

And it worked, with the American securing a dominant win over the Irishman with a 10th round TKO.

Muhammad Ali

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Muhammad Ali was the self-proclaimed "Greatest" during an era of fierce heavyweight competition, and many agreed with him.

His speed for a heavyweight was bewildering, and his battles with Joe Frazier and George Foreman will stand the test of time as among the sport's greatest ever moments.

According to reports, he would impose on himself a six-week ban from sex.

And who could argue with the results of Ali?

But does it actually work?

The idea that sporting performance is improved by a lack of sex is not supported by scientific studies.

Scientists at Georgia State University looked into it, running tests with volunteers performing exercises after having sex and after abstaining.

But research leader Gerald Zavorsky said: “There were no changes in physical performance.”

However, it is possible an individual could feel they are giving themselves a psychological edge because of the discipline.

The Daily Star Online, somehow, couldn't quite find any volunteers to test this theory out against Froch, Haye and Mayweather, though.

So I guess we'll never know.

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