My favourite things: Dereck Chisora
PUBLISHED: 11:39 15 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:18 15 January 2016
Heavyweight boxer Dereck Chisora lives in Hampstead with his partner and 20-month-old daughter. He tells us what gets him through the day
Dereck Chisora's favourite things
I train every day, my first session starts each morning at six oclock. I train in Watford and I train in Belsize Park and I train in Kensington. Watford is for strength and conditioning, Belsize is my boxing and then Kensington is my time to relax. I sit in the sauna for about 45 minutes. Were doing up our house at the moment. I would say I wanted a sauna and all that at home but really its good to get out of the house and enjoy it.
I was invited to the Norwood boxing dinner a couple of years ago and I had a great time so now I go every February. Ill be there this year too. Its going to be a great boxing night. Its a great occasion for good fighters coming up in the game. It gives young boxers a really good platform. I had two fights on a charity bill before I became a name in the industry. On the night I sign gloves, I take pictures, I give out awards. I support Norwood and Im starting a charity in South Africa with a friend of mine to encourage boxing in South Africa. There are so many boxing gyms there. One of my friends owns one in Cape Town and all they have there is one ring, one bag and two gum shields, which the kids swap around. That made me feel bad, so I told my friend Mike Goodall about it and he gave me 200 pairs of gloves and bags. Ive got them in my garage and Im going to send them out there this month.
I started boxing professionally when I was 25 or 26 after I won silver at the Four Nations. My mum likes to keep every belt I win. Because she doesnt live with me she likes to keep everything. Every time I finish fighting she takes my bag to her house with my belt and everything I use for boxing and cleans it at her house. So when Im fighting again shell say your bags ready and then Ill go to her house and pick it up. She likes to feel like shes part of my boxing career because I stopped her coming to the fights. I find it hard work for myself if shes there, I worry about her in the crowd when Im fighting so I said no more. So she said if Im not going to come Id rather look after everything.
The day starts with me putting a record on. I like old records, classics, and I listen to music all day. Ive got about 200 albums, all vinyl. Ive always been into vinyl, there was a time when vinyls went out but I kept my vinyl. I buy new records at Portobello Market.
I dont read that much but Im reading a book about Jack Dempsey at the moment. Before the rounds came in they used to do last man standing. Dempsey would fight with somebody and it would go on until one of them was knocked out. Once he was fighting somebody for about eight hours before he knocked the guy out. They said he won the fight and he walked to the dressing room but they called him back and said the guys up he wants to go again so he had to come back and go again. Today we just do 12 rounds Im trying to squeeze in eight fights this year. When youre at the top you could do one or two fights every year but I want to do it eight times this year, if Im not injured. I dont care if it has a physical effect on me to be honest, I just want to fight. The adrenaline you get from boxing is better than anything else in the whole world, better than any drug. Youve got a man on the other side trying to take your head off, youre trying to take his head off, and youve got 35,000 jam-packed fans going menta
Most athletes take supplements but I dont believe in taking supplements, I believe in natural foods. I repair my body by eating right. My diet is eat, eat, eat. When Im training I have four scrambled eggs and 50g of salmon at 9.30am; 250 grams of chicken, 100g olive oil, 250g of greens and 100g of avocado at around midday; at 6pm Ill have 250g white fish, with 30g of greens; three hours after that Ill have 250g of beef with greens; and I have 150g of turkey with greens around 11.30 just before bed. The body works harder when its resting. I dont want to burn my muscle off so I replace whatevers burning off in the night with the turkey before bed. My family eat separately although I can eat out. My favourite restaurant in London is Scotts for an early dinner, Ill normally go out and eat at 6pm and maybe ask for some white fish and some greens.
I’ve lived in north London my whole life. I grew up in Cricklewood, next to Brent Cross. There’s three blocks of flats there, we were on the lower ground floor in the red building. Then from there my mother and I moved to Hampstead Garden Suburb. She’s still there. I never wanted to leave Hampstead after that.
I met my missus, who owns a boutique in Hampstead village and we moved to St John’s Wood, but only for four months. I liked it but it was different from Hampstead – they live life in the fast lane – so we moved back to Hampstead to the house that we’re in now. I’ve got Hampstead Heath right next to me, Golder’s Hill Park nearby. In St John’s Wood you’ve got Regent’s Park, which is beautiful, but it’s different from Hampstead Heath you know, anything goes on the Heath… It’s just much better here. My drive is about 150 yards long so there’s no traffic up here.
Everything I know is north London. I know the back streets of Hampstead, St John’s Wood, Cricklewood, Kilburn. There ain’t no place like north London. I’m being honest. I’ve been to south London, Jesus Christ! The only thing in south London is that they’ve got the whole banking industry at Canary Wharf. If they move that to north London then what is there south of the river? Nothing.
Dereck Chisora will be attending the Charity Boxing Dinner in support of Norwood and the Paskin Children’s Trust on Wednesday, 24 February at the Lancaster London Hotel. Tickets are available at boxingdinner.com / 020 8420 6829 / firstname.lastname@example.org