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Ray Moylette ready to go again


A RAY OF LIGHT Ray Moylette takes a standing count from the referee during the fifth round of his WBC Silver-Lightweight title fight in Castlebar. Pic: Michael McLaughlin

Ger Flanagan

HE might not not have won the fight, but Ray Moylette certainly won plenty of admiration and respect from the 2,000 supporters who packed into the TF Royal Theatre, Castlebar last Friday night.
The Islandeady lightweight was ringside for over 30 minutes after the fight had ended as he took time out to talk to supporters and pose for pictures with his adoring fans, friends and family.
All those people and more had combined to blow the roof off the TF earlier in the evening, and create an electric atmosphere that left nobody in any doubt about the sense of pride they felt for the local hero.
It was an atmosphere that the sport and the town of Castlebar have sorely missed.
When The Mayo News caught up with ‘Sugar Ray’ backstage he looked like a man who had just gone 10 rounds with a steely and gritty Mexican.
However, he spoke with great composure on what was an emotional night for him.
“Obviously I’m very disappointed not to get the win,” the 28 year-old began. “I knew it was close at the end of it, but I suppose going down twice in the one round doesn’t help the score.
“But look out there, the people that were here. The energy in the room was electric and everyone was in great form. I didn’t win, but the people that greeted me when I came out of the ring, that is something special.
“What I experienced in the ring is something I will never forget. Good and well I’m not bringing the belt home, but we got something out of that fight that I will bring to the grave with me.”
The scene was set for a thrilling contest when Moylette’s sister, Sheila, gave a rendition of Dolores O’Riordan’s ‘God Be With You Ireland’ before the man of the moment walked out to a hero’s welcome behind the Clew Bay pipe band.
For the briefest of moments the whole arena were stunned into silence when Moylette hit the deck on two occasions in the fifth round.
But the empowering and extraordinary noise that followed, and almost certainly willed Moylette back to his feet, saw him beat the count by the tiniest of margins, much to the relief of his father, John, who was on photography duty ringside.
Ray’s mother Mary, wife Sharon, and other siblings close by also looked relieved.
“I don’t know what was going through my mind [when on the canvas],” he laughed. “I could feel the ground moving with the sound, and the energy I got off everyone got me off the ground.
“I was back on the stool in Packie’s corner for Round 6 before I even knew what was happening.
“I didn’t know what was happening, but something got me up,” he continued. “I don’t know what it was. It was the people here. If that happened in the gym, there was no way I was getting up.”
That left hook that sunk Moylette to his knees would have ended any other fight and was felt ringside as the perspiration splashed us reporters directly below the action.
The gripping nature of the bout continued throughout the fight as Moylette and Uruzquieta traded blows, which the Mexican absorbed time and time again.
When the final bell sounded and all was said and done, the crowd erupted in appreciation as Uruzquieta was hoisted above his coach’s shoulders, adamant of victory.
But there was still the hope that the hometown boxer would get the verdict.
NABF World Middleweight champion, and TG4’s reporter in the ring on the night, Jason Quigley, whispered his feelings of a draw to some reporters as he entered the ring.
Former World WBA Bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett, commentating on TG4, felt Moylette shaded it.
Unfortunately, the judges felt otherwise and the split-decision deflated the atmosphere for a short time, until people came to appreciate what had unfolded in front of them.
When Uruzquieta and Moylette paraded the ring side by side, the crowd were standing and applauding.
The effort and honesty could not be doubted, despite watching Moylette suffer a big career set-back, but not a fatal one. He apologised to his fans for the defeat in the ring, but it was totally unnecessary.
“To walk out there in front of all my people, that’s the stuff dreams are made of,” he said.
“I won already. The belt would have added to that, but it can’t take it away.
“I don’t have any plans for the future. I’m going to take a few weeks off and get stuck back in in January. This is all I know at this stage and this is what I want. I’m willing to do what I have to to get to the next level.
“This is a learning curve and I learned a lot in the ring, but I also took a lot of positives. I’m still at the beginning of my journey. Just because I don’t have the zero anymore, I still took a lot from it.”