28th October 2011
He was a world kickboxing champion aged nine before making the change of codes to the noble art of pugilism. Floyd Mayweather Snr. once called him one of the most gifted British fighters he had seen!
Manchester’s Rhys Roberts has been fighting now for 17 years and on Saturday night in the Prizefighter Featherweight tournament at the York Hall Bethnal Green in London, he gets the platform to showcase them skills and show British boxing what he is all about.
Roberts 22, has a 14 fight professional record, with just one defeat. That blot on his record came in March this year, when he was pulled out of his fight with Daniel Kodjo Sassou by his trainer Pat Barrett after breaking his hand in the first round. He has since comeback from that setback with a solid performance in July, outpointing Kristian Laight over four rounds.
Usually boxing at super-bantamweight, he has decided to take this opportunity to enter Prizefighter at featherweight after getting the call two and half weeks prior to the London showcase. The tournament also features Choi Tseveenpurev, Ian Bailey, Barrington Brown, Lee Jennings, Lee Glover, Troy James and George Jupp, all fighters the Mancunian contender believes he will beat, whoever he draws.
I think it’s now time to show my skills and bring something new to British Boxing” – Rhys Roberts
Roberts has been asking Barrett to let him off the leash, feeling he is ready to step up his career and level of opposition, as he enters his 15th pro fight. The Prizefighter should be a useful yard stick and gage as to how far this prospect, who has skills in abundance and highly rated within the game can go.
In our exclusive interview with Roberts and his long time trainer Barrett, a the former British and European light-welterweight champion, the pair speak about their confidence on the eve of Prizefighter. Barrett tells us Rhys is the most naturally gifted boxer he has ever worked with and recognised his talents when he took him on the pads as a nine year old kid.
Roberts is the latest prodigy to come out of The Collyhurst and Moston Lads Club, now run by Barrett and former fighter Thomas McDonagh, who took the reigns over from Brian Hughes. Both have massive confidence in him and plan to take him to the top! Starting this weekend!
Full interview video above.
By Chris Maylett.
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