SIR TOM’S PULLING NO PUNCHES TO GET BACK INTO SHAPE
TOM Jones isn’t letting his recent ill health knock him down. He’s pulling on the gloves ready to get back to business as a judge on the new season of The Voice coming in January.
The singer was taken ill in July, and had to cancel some performances to recover. Now he’s back on his feet, with a new fitness routine to help him get back in the ring.
The 78-year-old has taken up boxing to help him get in shape and take on the competitive showbiz industry.
Talking about his new fitness regime, he said: “It’s good to be back. Everything’s good now – I’m on top form. I’ve got a trainer who comes to see me. A lot of stretching and boxing thrown in.
“He puts the gloves on and we do a couple of rounds in the gym, which is really good. It’s a good cardiovascular workout.
“I do it twice a week. I get in the gym whenever – three times a week usually. I try to watch my diet too.”
The singer revealed he fell ill while on the road, and was taken to hospital.
“I was in there for four days and they checked everything and said it was a viral infection,” he said.
“I didn’t feel good and they said you need antibiotics. So they gave it intravenously and that was it.
“But I had to cancel shows. So that was a big deal.”
Asked if his right cross would stand him in good stead when he gets back with ITV talent show rivals will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson and Olly Murs, he said: “I might run out of steam. I’d have to knock them out fast.”
Plans for a TV biopic about Tom Jones’ 55-year career are still being discussed – after revealing he’d love Robbie Williams to play him.
“There’s quite a few people who are talking about it,” he said.
But he hasn’t ruled out starring in it himself. “I’d like to do more acting – it just depends on the role,” he said.
It’s not the first time Tom has tried his hand at boxing... well, sort of!
Back in July 1980, in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania, the Ponty singer squared up to boxing legend Muhammad Ali when an incredible black and white photo was taken.
The two unlikely opponents had faced each other in a mock sparring session, when Ali took a dive to the canvas for the cameras.
The picture formed part of a documentary film called I Am Ali, which was released at the end of 2014.
Ali’s long-term friend and former business manager Gene Kilroy was the man behind the lens that day in 1980, and before the film was released spoke about Ali’s long-running friendship with Sir Tom and how this particular photo came about.
He said: “Tom and Ali have been friends for more than 30 years. Ali was a massive fan of Tom’s and would often go and visit him at his house over here.
“But then, one day, Ali figured it would be fun if Tom came and spent some time with him at his training camp for a change.
“I remember Tom being asked if he’d like to do some sparring and replying ‘What? Oh no, no, no,’” said Gene.
“But Ali wouldn’t take no for an answer. ‘C’mon Jones, some fun’, he told him.
“So they both threw a few punches and Ali pretended to hit the deck – I took a shot of it and those pictures went all around the world.
“We got sacks of mail about it, let- we’ll have ters saying things like ‘If Tom Jones can knock out Ali then maybe it’s time he hung up his gloves and retired.’
“Of course, Tom’s best known as a singer but he’s a pretty tough fella too.”
Sir Tom Jones attends The Voice UK 2018 photocall in Manchester last week. He has revealed that he is pulling on boxing gloves as part of a new fitness regime
Muhammad Ali and Tom Jones had a mock sparring session