IT’S been a long 16 months for Ray Moylette since his famous showdown in Castlebar against Mexican Christian Uruzquieta.
Since then he’s split with his old management team and had a title fight in America cancelled because of visa issues.
However, next Saturday night in the ‘House of Blues’ in Boston, Moylette is making his long-awaited comeback against fellow Irishman Larry Fryers (11-2) for the New England welterweight rankings title.
The 29 year-old turned down a ‘warm up’ fight to get this showdown with Monaghan native Fryers over the line, the same opponent he was due to box 12 months previous before his visa problems cancelled the bout.
“I could have taken an easier fight and I was asked did I want it,” the Islandeady native told The Mayo News. “But I said I wanted Fryers. The risks are far greater but the rewards are too and I think they outweigh the risks.
“I’ve been on the sideline for over a year, I’ve had the hard days and if this fight was offered to me a couple of months ago with the position I was in, I would have taken a person’s arm off to get it, so I would have been a fool to say ‘no’.”
Despite his unplanned hiatus from the boxing ring, Moylette has stayed sharp and trained harder than ever with Packie Collins from the Celtic Warrior Boxing Gym in Dublin.
He admitted there were plenty of occasions over the past 16 months where he considered hanging up the gloves, but in the end discovered that the fire in the belly is still very much alive.
“I learned a lot about myself that I didn’t know before and didn’t think I needed to learn,” he laughed. “The last 12 months or so have been a rollercoaster, frustration after frustration.
“I was ready to throw the toys out of the pram at one stage but I held on and I had good people around me that kept me going.
“I knew this opportunity would come, but it was about putting my whole life on hold for it to happen. But I’ve invested so much into boxing and into my career that it would be a shame to go out on a technicality, such as slip ups with management teams and visa problems, that’s not how the story will end.
“So I bit down on the gum shield and I kept going and thankfully it has all paid and I’m in a massive position now.”
Outside of the boxing ring, Moylette also revealed the news that he and his wife, Sharon, are expecting their first child, an ‘exciting’ change to his life.
But before the baby arrives, ‘Sugar Ray’ is aiming to get through Saturday night first; an explosive all-Irish title fight in Boston on St Patrick’s Weekend, with a performance from Dropkick Murphys.
A win will put him in the top 15 in the USA, where even bigger prospects could be guaranteed down the line.
“This is a massive stage, a massive occasion, a massive weekend and my biggest fight to date,” he said.
“I don’t like predictions, but I need to be a realist and say that I am in for a big fight.
“I’m going to try and box this fella, who is going to walk me down. He has the heart of a lion and will keep coming. I can see him working really hard in the first few rounds, but then my boxing skills will take over and I will take him apart pretty easy after that.
“I’m hitting harder now, so if he walks onto a shot he will know about it… I’m feeling that my defence is better. I expect this to be a tough fight, I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t.”