Long Game for Ryan

Ryan Woolridge is in boxing for the long haul as he prepares for more ring time five months on from his previous outing.

He features as part of a BCB Promotions offering at the Willows, on Bath Street, in Willenhall, for a Sunday afternoon show on March 27.

The 21-year-old super welterweight, from Bloxwich, was last on a Frank Warren promoted card, which was televised on BT Sport last time out, at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham.

Woolridge got off to a flying start when he dropped Paul Cummings in the first round, but had to settle for a resounding points victory instead, through a 40-35 scoreline.

He debuted a month earlier, in October, at Walsall Football Club’s Banks’s Stadium, on a BCB show and worked towards a points whitewash, through a 40-36 verdict.

‘Rhino’ now aims to roll over his next opponent, but will be taking his pro career one step at a time, just like he did as an amateur.

He collected 12 wins from 20 bouts representing Great Wyrley Boxing Club, becoming the first fighter in the gym’s history to come through their ranks from amateur to pro.

Woolridge said: “I don’t want to miss the boat, when it comes to progress but, with me being so young, I’m taking things slow and learning the game properly.

“From a personal position, I could throw all of my eggs into one basket and do boxing full-time, but I’ve gone into business (Limitless Installations) with my brother (Jamie).

“I’m busy being an electrician, but I still run every morning, six days a week, and train later on in the day, like most pros. I’m not slacking off, I just don’t want it to be a feast or famine.

“I’ve talked about this to Pete (Hickenbottom, coach) and I think, as a minimum, four fights a year would suit me. I’ll be looking to get out again in May or June, after this.

“I get a lot of sparring in, which keeps me sharp and has helped with the transition from amateur to pro. It’s the little things where you excel and I try to bring them into what I do.

“I’m reasonably happy with the two wins I’ve had. I stuck to my boxing and my southpaw jab is the nuisance punch. They were both tough opponents, who can turn it on.

“Kearon (Thomas) came to win, with the local derby aspect, which spiced up my debut a bit, and he caught me with a couple of shots that made me think.

“I didn’t get too involved with him, I followed the game-plan and landed some nice body shots of my own. I heard him wince, more than once.

“Steve Bunce (boxing pundit) was there (as a special guest) and had us all in the ring for an interview, at the start of the night. I found that more nerve-wracking than the fight!

“I got the call, a few days after, asking if I wanted to box on the BT Sport show, and I was there, less than four weeks later. That was next level, I was a bit star-struck.

“I’d seen a lot of Paul Cummings, as a fan, and he’s a real road warrior, just like Kearon. He was awkward, but I put him down with a left hand, although I knew that wasn’t the end of it.

“What I’m aiming for now is a good couple of years working on my craft, rather than burning out. I don’t want to run before I can walk, when going for titles. It might be better to wait.”

Tickets for the Willows bill are available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside with buffet, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.

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