Being a professional fighter is never easy, but some boxers opt to make their chosen career harder for themselves than it needs to be.
The famous American middleweight Jake LaMotta, immortalised by Robert De Niro in the film Raging Bull, ballooned in weight between fights.
Closer to home Manchester’s Ricky Hatton earned the nickname Ricky Fatton for his tendency to eat and drink himself up to 35 to 40 pounds over his fight weight between bouts.
Compare and contrast with Ricky Burns. On Saturday night he became Scotland’s first three-weight world champion when he stopped Italian Michele Di Rocco to claim the vacant WBA super light-welterweight title.
However, he was up at the crack of dawn yesterday in order to put in the kind of Stakhanovite shift required to keep him at the peak of his profession.
“I ended up going to the gym at 7.30 this morning!” he revealed yesterday. “It was straight to McDonald’s after the fight on Saturday night. Then I ate too many cakes on Sunday and felt bloated so I went to the gym and then I ran for an hour. My wife, Amanda, still goes to the gym every morning so I just tagged along with her.
“Sometimes I feel guilty for indulging myself after fights. You’ve been dieting for so long and then you go out for dinner afterwards and have a dessert.
“Then, when you’re walking past shops, you end up going in for bars of chocolate and that makes me feel guilty because I don’t want my weight to shoot up.
“After fights I always end up back in the gym – even if it’s only two or three days a week just running or swimming. As long as I’m ticking over then, when I start back training, at least my weight’s not going to be too high and I’m ready to get started straight away.”
Nor will Burns spare himself when he heads to Tenerife with Amanda and son Leon tomorrow morning.
“I’m taking my training gear with me so I’ll probably do a couple of sessions,” he said. “I don’t think it was ever going to be a relaxing holiday anyway because Leon is fascinated with building sand castles and chasing fish so I think that’s what I’m going to be doing for the week.”
While on the sands, however, his mind will be drifting off to the Nevada Desert and the prospect of defending his latest belt against four-weight champion Adrian Broner in Las Vegas.
“I said to my trainer, Tony Sims, in the dressing room after Saturday’s fight that nothing could beat that,” he revealed.
“But, thinking about it now, I’d love to go back to America and – if it was Vegas – that would just top everything. That would be me happy.
“If I don’t do anything else in boxing, I’m happy now. But if the option came to fight in Vegas that would just top it all. It’s the ultimate.
“I’ve been there a couple of times on holiday but I’ve never been to a fight. To go over there to box would top off my career.”