Ray Moylette gears up for home debut

As a former gold medallist at the competition, one might think Ray Moylette would be taking an eager interest in next month’s European Championships after yet another selection controversy dominated the week’s headlines.

Instead, the 2011 continental champion and a former World Youth gold medallist is busy preparing for his home professional debut on a June 24 Red Corner Promotions fight card in Dublin.

An undefeated 4-0 after wins in the US and UK, Moylette gave up on his dreams of reaching an Olympics earlier this year when he finally opted to switch over to the paid ranks last March.

And after yet a week of in-fighting at the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA), the Mayo light-welterweight has no regrets over his decision to leave the often fraught amateur system.

“In my view, I don’t think it [the IABA] is being run the way it should be. There’s too many chiefs trying to take over power and they’re forgetting about the boxers,” added the 27-year-old, who was at the centre of a number of selection rows during his 64kg amateur days, including a memorable 2011 box-off win over Ross Hickey.

Though many will feel Westport’s decorated amateur never fulfilled his potential in an Irish singlet, Moylette is delighted to be away from a High-Performance system where intense rivalries can develop between team-mates competing for one slot in the same weight division.

“The position I’m in now in the Celtic Warrior Gym, everyone there is trying to help me,” said Moylette, who is trained by Paschal Collins, brother of former two-weight world champion Steve, at the Dublin 15 gym.

“There’s no-one trying to take my place here, no-one trying to take me out, everyone is there for my good so it’s a different environment completely,” continued the Mayo man.

“The High-Performance Unit and the selection [process] is a cut-throat business. You’re trying to get a step up on everyone and keep other guys out.

“It’s a hostile environment when I look back on it now, so I made the right choice. I spent 10 years chasing the Olympic Games and it became monotonous. I didn’t reach it and I’m sorry for that but I have a new goal now and every day I wake up to something different.”

Ironically, the scene of his first home fight will be the National Stadium, with Moylette set to feature on a fight card that will be topped by two competitive Irish title fights involving his Celtic Warrior gym-mates, Steve Collins Jr and Luke Keeler, who will clash with Paddy McDonagh and Darren Cruise respectively.

“I’m looking forward to fighting again at home,” said Moylette.

“The National Stadium was a home from home for me for many years when I was a part of the amateur set-up. When I finished I had a bad taste in my mouth so I’m hoping to come back and rectify that. I want the home of Irish boxing to be a major part of my career, so when I think about it I want to think about successful stories.

“I had a busy couple of months… but I have a plan set in place with Paschal to get fights under the belt. I’ll take a break after this fight on June 24 and then we’ll plan again for the next six months and take it from there. I love where I’m at and what I’m doing.”


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