Q & A with Kalvin “Hot Sauce” Henderson
Kalvin “Hot Sauce” Henderson began boxing at the age of 15 while living in Ft. Worth, Texas. From a young age, Kalvin was competitive and played everything from football to basketball to track. While he liked the sports, he wasn’t passionate and turned to boxing after a friend told him to try out. Upon his first time in the ring, his connection to the sport was immediate. “It came natural to me and I was good from the start. I knew right away that I wanted to do this for myself,” he said when speaking about first falling in love with boxing.
The nickname “Hot Sauce” stems back to high school when Kalvin would put it on everything including pizza, mash potatoes and even corn. Nowadays, the nickname is a perfect representation of his intensity and skill in the ring. “When I fight I make it real hot in there,” Kalvin said with a laugh.
After graduating, Kalvin moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas in the fall of 2007 to begin college at the University of Arkansas after being awarded a music scholarship as a percussionist. The move was a new beginning for him as he had no friends or family in the area and had never even visited the state. Despite his new focus on music, Kalvin never lost sight of his passion for boxing. After graduating in May of 2012, he made Arkansas his permanent home to pursue a boxing career with his current coach Kevin Lightburn.
Flash forward seven years and Kalvin is currently an undefeated Super Middleweight professional boxer with a 12-0 (8 KO) record. Outside of his impressive career, he is married to “the love of his life” Danielle and together they have 4 children. He credits them as his inspiration in the ring and what keeps him pushing every day to be his best. When he’s not juggling dad duties and preparing for a match, he’s in the gym working as a personal trainer helping clients work towards their fitness goals.
In July, 2019 Kalvin partnered with Tohi as an Athlete Ambassador. Tohi is an essential part of his active nutrition diet and a key step in his pre-match training and post-match recovery. We recently set up a Q & A to find out more about the man behind the gloves.
Q: What type of health and wellness habits have you picked up throughout the course of your career?
A: When you are young, you just go with the flow of things. As I got older, I learned the importance of recovery. Recovery and rest are sometimes even more important than the hard work and grind it takes to be successful.
Q: What does a typical day for you entail?
A: My day usually starts at 5:30 am. I’m with my family and then I train in the gym. Around 1pm I take a quick break and am usually taking my kids somewhere and spending time with them before heading back to the gym for my second workout of the day and then I go into group fitness classes. I spend 5 days a week boxing and then Saturday’s are long run days and I rest on Sunday’s.
Q: How have the tips you’ve learned throughout your career regarding nutrition and wellness influenced your family’s lifestyle and daily habits?
A: With my training and workout schedule, my diet doesn’t have to be as strict as say, a professional body builder. However, food is like putting gas in your car. You want to eat good food and practice good habits to make sure your car can go. My wife does a great job cooking healthy meals for dinner and helping me with meal prep.
Q: Do you have any mindfulness techniques you practice prior to a match?
A: I like my pre-match warm-up to mimic how I fight – everything is calm and controlled. I do a prayer circle with my team and I listen to music like slow R&B to mellow me out and relax me.
Q: What does your post-match recovery entail?
A: Post-match recovery is important. I used to drink a pint of chocolate milk but then I discovered Tohi. Now it’s 1-2 cans of Tohi as soon as I get back to the dressing room.
Q: Do you think focusing on nutrition and implementing products like Tohi in your regimen will give you an advantage against competition?
A: Not necessarily an advantage because everyone has access to Tohi, but because I choose to drink it I’m in a better position because I’m ready to go. I drink it pre and post match because of the health benefits.
Q:What is your favorite Tohi flavor?
A: The Original was my first favorite but Blackberry Raspberry has grown on me.
Q: How has your relationship with your coach shaped you as a boxer?
A: My coach Kevin Lightburn changed my whole style as a boxer. He took me under his wing when I was 20 years old. In boxing we have a lot of coaches but we don’t have a lot of teachers and he is definitely a teacher.
Q: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
A: I’ll be 39 so I don’t want to still be professionally boxing. I see me and my family on an island eating wings making the most of life. I work hard now so I can enjoy it all later.
Q: If you could give young athletes one piece of advice what would it be?
A: Once you figure out what you want to do, figure out how you are going to make it happen. Once you figure out those two things, run in that direction and do whatever you have to in order to make it happen. Don’t let anyone tell you no.