LIVE ON TV Ray Moylette’s fight next weekend will be shown on ESPN. Pic: Sportsfile
‘SUGAR Ray’ Moylette says he is looking forward to some ‘target practice’ ahead of his much anticipated return to the boxing ring in Boston on March 31, live on ESPN.
The Islandeady lightweight will be hoping to build on his hugely successful debut year in the professional ranks (8-0) by defeating American Matt Doherty (8-3) on Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and ESPN card, which also features Moylette’s old room-mate, Jason Quigley from Donegal.
This will be the 2012 World Youth champion’s first fight of 2018 after marrying his long-term partner, Sharon, back in December. That extended break has him, he says, in the shape of his life after a hectic 12 months.
“I needed the break after such a busy year,” the 27-year-old told The Mayo News.
“Last year we were kind of rushing things to get ready with all the fights, but now I feel I have had time to prepare for this, a real camp, as I knew the opponent.
“I’m probably in better shape now than I have ever been.”
Moylette is well versed on his opponent, Matt ‘The Mantis’ Doherty, who claimed the Assassins Promotions fighter ‘avoided him’ whilst fighting in Boston last September.
But Moylette wanted to set the record straight.
“He was saying I dodged him last time, when it was him that dodged me,” the Paschal Collins trained fighter said. “We wanted to fight him because I needed an opponent and he didn’t want to fight me. But when we got someone else, he then said he would.
“He even claims to be Irish, even though I don’t know how Irish he is. But there’s only room for one Irish man in that ring.”
The St Anne’s Boxing Club man is set for a six-round showdown with the ‘come forward’ style fighting of Doherty at 138 pounds.
Moylette says his 12-week training camp – divided between Dublin and Mayo – has allowed him the novelty of hand-picking sparring partners to mirror his March 31 opponent’s style, and has said that his approach will be more tactical than before.
“My sparring partners are all ‘come forward’, ready-made pros,” he said. “Packie [Collins] has fresh guys jumping in all that time and nobody can spar with me for six to eight rounds up here.
“Don’t get me wrong, I get plenty of leather thrown at me, but they can’t sustain that. And we’re trying to be tactical. We know what he does. My boxing skills will prevail.”
The colourful Mayo native is also keen to return to Boston where he says he has ‘built a little following’. He did say that he is ‘piggybacking’ off his good friend Jason Quigley to gain followers and impress America with his skills, but added that his headline show is coming down the road.
He did acknowledge that Doherty is ‘tough’ and that this will ‘definitely be my toughest fight to date’, but he remains as confident as ever.
“I would hope to show him up because his skills wouldn’t be on my level,” he said.
“I’ve 20 years boxing done now and I’ve been at the top for a long time. I’ve acquired little things that you can’t pick up overnight and I think it will be target practice for me.
“It’s a massive platform and he’s a perfect fighter to show my skills off. Once the American public and the Irish can see this, I think they will get a real eye-opener.
“Opponents last year, a lot of them were trying to survive in the ring, where as this fella is coming to win. And when he’s coming forward, I’ll take advantage and exploit his weaknesses.”
RAY Moylette will be fighting on Saturday March 31 in the Marina Bay Sports Complex, Quincy, Massachusetts.
Tickets are on sale at Murphysboxing.com or contact Adrian at 0016177198630.