Rising prospect “Pretty” Ricky Boylan has his 6th professional fight tonight when he takes on experienced Londoner Mark McKray over 4×3 minute rounds at light-welterweight, on the Tony Conquest vs. Ian Tims undercard at the York Hall Bethnall Green (Friday September 7)
The unbeaten Surrey man this week spoke to www.britishboxers.co.uk about his boxing career to date, how he got into boxing and his aspirations for the future in a Q&A with Chris Maylett.
Q: You didn’t win any major title as an amateur, just losing out on two ABA finals, but I think it is fair to say you had quite an explosive style and was someone who came to fight and people came to watch on the amateur circuit? Do you hope to be as exciting in the pros?
A: Yeah most definitely, I got beat in the ABA London final twice as an amateur, was gutted on my last ABA’s as I thought I won the bout and could have gone a long way that year but that’s just part of Amateur boxing. I definitely think I can entertain the crowd and be a much more exciting fighter as a pro, I’m learning things everyday in the gym with Alan and Eddie.
Q: Your amateur record was 83 fights, winning 54 you say you lost a lot of them early on in my career, why was that and what did you feel changed to start you winning?
A: Yeah I had a fair few bouts, I lost my 1st bout, won my 2nd then i think i lost 5/6 on the spin, that was when i decided to move gyms to Earlsfield ABC, I loved everyone at Rosehill ABC but just realised i wasn’t progressing. I feel Sid Khan (trainer at Earlsfield) turned my boxing career around, he spent alot of time with me, took me back to basics and started me all over again and the wins started coming in slowly.
Q: How did you get into boxing and what was your first memories of walking into the gym for the first time and who influenced you to even think about boxing in the first place?
A: I started off my own will really, my dad used to box but never told me to try the sport or anything, one day when I was around 13 I just decided that I wanted to give boxing a try and ended up walking over to my local club Rosehill ABC, I remember I was really nervous walking into the gym but once id been there that 1 time that was it i couldn’t wait until the next session, I was hooked and have never looked back since.
Q: You started at the Rosehill ABC near your house in Carshalton, Surrey, and then joined the Earlsfield ABC – Who were your trainers/coaches and what can you tell us about your time there and do you still go back to visit?
A: Yeah I started at Rosehill ABC, think I was there just under 2 yrs. My trainers at Rosehill were John Ward, Tim Ward, Keith Drewitt and Ian Gilfoor as I said loved all the people there but just didn’t feel I was progressing so I moved to a well known club Earlsfield ABC, I was there for 10yrs where my trainers were Sid Khan, Pop Khan, Bob Pearson, Andy Stables and Eric Ghandi… Earlsfield was a big club so had lots of trainers helping out all the time but Sid was my main coach, I still pop down to all the Earlsfield shows and the championships to watch the boys and they do the same for me, I’m really grateful for there support, they’ve really helped me out in all aspects of life.
Q: During the amateur’s when did you start to seriously think about going professional?
A: It was probably during my last 2yrs as an amateur that i started thinking about turning pro, everyone used to say to me that my style will suit the pro game alot better than the amateurs but Sid influenced me the most when we was on the way home from my last ABA’s in the car and he said to me and Bradley Skeete maybe you 2 should turn over and start life in the pro game…. So that’s just exactly what me and Brad done.
Ricky Boylan Career Highlights (Amateur and Pro)
Q: How has the transition been to the pros, in what ways have you adapted your training or nutritional education etc. and have you found it suits you?
A: Ive really enjoyed the transition from the amateurs to the pros and do feel it does suit me better, My training is pretty much similar as the amateurs in terms of the times I train and that but the pro training does alot more strength and conditioning based stuff. Ive learned so much in the last 2yrs about the importance of nutrition and diet etc.
Q: Being a professional boxer takes so many sacrifices in your private life etc, have you got yourself in the right frame of mind to focus and live the correct life in and out of boxing to fulfil your talents and the ambitions you have in the sport?
A: Yeah most definitely, I have always been focused from day 1 when I turned professional because I know how hard the sport of boxing is, If your heart isn’t in it then you shouldn’t be boxing. I don’t wanna be a “coulda, woulda, shoulda person” so i always give everything my all, that way I know I’ve always tried my best and that way I wont have any regrets.
Q: Are you still working or are you boxing full time?
A: No i wish i was though but unfortunately until you’ve worked your way up towards the top theres not enough money in the sport to just rely on it as your only income. I work for my trainer Alan Smith and also have my own little business too.
Q: What do you like to do when you are not boxing?
A: I just like to relax really, spend as much time as i can with my girlfriend, son Tommy, friends and all my family. Its nice because when I’m in full training i hardly get anytime to myself to spend time with them all, when I’m out of training i like to make up for lost time!
Q: What does boxing give you as a person, other than a career, do you enjoy the lifestyle and being a professional boxer?
A: The lifestyle is the hardest thing about being a boxer I think, its when your out the ring that’s the hard part the making weight, not going out with your friends for meals and drinks etc, its like living life as a monk. I definitely must enjoy it though because I’m still doing it 12yrs later haha. I just hope all my hardwork will pay off and I hope I can reap the rewards one day.
Q: In the five pro fights you have had up to now, what are the main things you have learnt or taken away. Or have you taken something individual from each fight?
A: I think I’ve learned something new from every fight I’ve had, they’ve all been very different. Ive realised that in the pro game you cant take anyone for granted and that you have to stay focused from the second you step foot in that ring. Your opponent no matter who it is will take advantage of anything they can if they notice somethings wrong.
Q: Who was the toughest one up to now, or which fight as made you realise there is no cutting corners in boxing even at this early stage?
A: Id say my hardest fight as a pro so far has been Radoslav Mitev my 3rd pro fight, not from his skill but he could punch a bit and really came to win, he was swinging in wild shots from everywhere and put me over in the 1st round, the first time i had ever been down in 12yrs… I was shocked, I was never hurt but its awkward boxing someone that’s swinging in shots from all angles trying to take your head off. That also made me realise like you say that you cant cut no corners in boxing or you will get found out sooner or later.
Q: You started pro with Johnny Eames and are now with Alan Smith and Eddie Lam & also Bob McDonald are you settled now?
A: Yeah i started with Johnny but just feel i didn’t settle in properly there, I still speak with Johnny Eames and Derek Grainger now so theres no hard feelings but i had to do whats right for me and i felt that was to move on, you cant train properly when you don’t feel comfortable somewhere. I will give Johnny credit where its due tho, hes a good trainer and always stuck to his word about my contract. I’m loving it at I-Box Gym we have a great team there… My trainers being Alan Smith & Eddie Lamm & strength and conditioner is Bob MacDonald. Us boys Sam Webb, Bradley Skeete (who was my amateur stablemate for 10yrs), Lewis Pettitt, Johnny Garton & Iain Weaver all get along so well, we couldn’t have a better bunch of boys in the gym, everyones behind each other 110%.
Q: Your family do you have wife, kids?
A: I have a girlfriend Laura…. Not married just yet tho haha! I also have a son Tommy, hes 4 and is from a previous relationship, Love them both more than anything.
Q: What is your motivation to box, keep winning and to become a contender in the toughest sport of all?
A: I just want to do as well as i can, if i give it 110% now then in 10/15yrs time i can look back and can put my hand on my heart and say i done the best i could, i said i don’t wanna be a ‘Coulda, woulda, shoulda person’ theres thousands and thousands of them out there, I’ll give it my all now and hopefully my son, family and friends will be proud of me by the time i retire.
Q: Your next fight is at the York Hall against London’s Mark McKray, he doesn’t come to give anyone an easy nights work, but it should be your 6th win, but you gotta be switched on, no mistakes at this stage, I’m sure though you would never under estimate anyone?
A: No that’s right as i said earlier, never under estimate anyone. Mark McKray is a real tough cookie, i remember him from the amateurs, he could always punch a bit too but these are the type of fights i need at the moment to show everyone how my career is progressing. I’ll be switched on from that moment i walk through the doors of the famous York Hall.
Q: The future? – I’m sure its one step at a time, I’ve heard you say a goal is to win a British title, but are you happy to keep fighting regular and learning your trade the correct way, winning and then the big fights will come?
A: Yeah definitely one step at a time but after this fights out the way id definitely like to start stepping things up and keeping busy, I’m hoping at the start of 2013 i should be fighting for some kind of title providing I keep winning.
Q: How often do expect or hope to fight now, I’m sure you’d like to stay busy this season?
A: Yeah after McKray id like to have one more before November then possibly finish the year off with a 8 rounder so then the next step up is title level which takes me up to 2013….
Q: Hopefully your fight gets shown on BoxNation on Friday?
A: Yeah think I’ve been given a LIVE TV slot Just before my team mate Lewis Pettitt fights Ian Bailey for the Southern area title, I’ll be over the moon if they show it, its good to have some TV exposure, gets your name out there.
Q: I wish you the best of luck with your career Ricky, if you have any message for your fans (I know you bring a lot!) that you would like to say please feel free. Or anything else you would like to add?
A: Yeah id just like to say a massive thank you to each and everyone of my fans for following my career, without you lot this wouldn’t be possible, please stay patient and the title fights will start coming soon. Also id like to say a MASSIVE thank you to my sponsors Rapid ReadyMix, Usana, Sugar Rays, Ampro Boxing, Victory Dental Lab and Swelter Wear – again you are all invaluable. Thank you very much for all your help and support all of you.
Roy Jones Jnr
Favorite British boxer?
Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao
Your fight style?
Toughest opponent amateur or pro?
Sid Vincent (Amateurs)
Best day of your life?
The day my son was born
Pre fight ritual?
Always put my right boot on first.
To win a British title outright.
What do you read?
Shawshank Redemption / Blow
R & B , Hip Hop, House, Old School Garage
Nandos & Curry
I Love Water haha, boring i know!