For whom the Bell tolls, it tolls for thee – John Donne 1624
Thirty seconds into the 2nd round, of his 6th professional fight, Ray Moylette was lying on the canvas of the Foxwoods Casino Resort in Connecticut. Hurt and more than a little stunned. Gingerly, he managed to get back to his feet and take his count.
Still two minutes until the end of the round. A lifetime in his chosen profession. Another flurry of punches followed including a very heavy body shot. The memory of it still lingers. When the bell finally tolled to signal an end to the round – he was still alive but only just.
It was if the grand old casino resort was saying ” Welcome to Professional Boxing Ray Moylette “
But the House always wins.
” He dropped me in the second round. He caught me with a Right Hook over the top. He jumped on me and put the pressure on me. He hurt me in fairness and after that – he hit me with the body shot half way through the round. I was deflated with everything at the end of the round -with Hurt – I was tired and getting punished.”
” When I went back to the corner to Packie Collins and Martin Brennan they were real calm and real relaxed. They quickly got me back to myself. I was thinking when I went back they would tell me not to go back out for the 3rd and I would have agreed.
But they calmed me down and got me back on track in the corner. By the time I went back out my out my mentality had changed”
Moylette started working his jab and the confidence gradually began to seep back into his gloves. A six round fight doesn’t afford much time to turn things around.
But he did.
Ray Moylette finished very strongly , winning the contest and coming close to knocking out his opponent (Donte Bryant) in the final round. Disaster averted.
” That was the experience that I had to have, at that moment, to learn. There is no way I could have trained for that in the gym or anywhere else.
Knowing that I was out on my feet. Knowing that I had a solid corner to go back to and then knowing that I can recover and come back after that.
You don’t know what it is like until it happens. To get hit and get up off the canvas. I gathered my thoughts, Bit down on the gum shield and pushed on from there”
There are many positive and memorable experiences locked away in his 11-0 professional record. Many flashier wins, but this is the experience that gives him the confidence to think that he’s made of the right stuff. That a journey to the very upper echelons of the WBC Lightweight division is not remotely out of the question.
High Performance Unit Versus Turning Professional
Many fans of the Irish amateur boxing scene will be familiar with Ray Moylette as the 2011 European Light Welterweight champion. Prior to that he was a gold medalist at the World Youths in Mexico. Indeed Ray was the first ever Irish male to Gold at those particular championships. In short his amateur pedigree was very solid.
Ray Moylette was part of the storied Irish amateur High Performance unit for a number of years. Over the years it has become a production line of medalists at European, World and Olympic Level for Ireland.
A lot of successful Irish amateurs have found the transition from this structured and stable environment to the professional ranks like a hose of icy cold water. Not Ray Moylette.
” From growing up in the High Performance, I was always told where I needed to be, what I need to do, how I was meant to do it. It was like a conveyor belt that I was part of. I never really…I have a small bit of a problem with authority and people telling me how things should be. I don’t really perform well under that guise.
I’m way better being my own man. I’m responsible now for all my training. I’m responsible now for all my food and water in-take. I’m responsible now for putting my full team together. My Trainer, My manager and my backroom team.
I’m not being put in a situation that people are around me that I don’t want around me “
To have this power over himself feels liberating and empowering to Moylette. Knowing that at the end of the day if it all fails – it’s all on him. He knows that he won’t be able to blame A, B or C for things going pear-shaped. Equally if it all works out he will take great satisfaction from having put the jigsaw pieces together.
He explains that when he was part of the High Performance system he was often looking for ways to get out of things. I think instinctively Ray Moylette rebels against that type of overarching authority. In this and other interviews I’ve seen of him there is a discernible Maverick streak. Perhaps even that he is only at his best in the ring when he gives full expression to it.
It could well be the characteristic that gets him further than many of his contemporaries in the professional ranks.
Developing as a Professional
I was curious to find out the biggest area he has been developing in since turning pro. Or to be blunt what area of his skillset was in need of the most work. His voice crackled with increased animation as we moved into this topic.
” Turning pro with Packie Collins, He said he’s not gonna change me as a fighter. Improve things I can already do and make me a complete fighter. He said I’m already a great fighter he just wants to improve little things. Sure I loved to hear that. It was music to my ears. we kicked off from there”
” Mainly though what we have been focussing on is working in the Pocket. Packie Collins is drilling into me that I am good enough to stay in the pocket. My evasive skills and defensive skills are good enough to be in the danger zone for 10 rounds “
It’s obviously an area that didn’t come naturally to him. Amateur boxing is about a scoring system. Getting in and not getting hit. Dancing and darting, The work with Packie feels like an extra layer of artillery he’s added to his arsenal. Initially though he took some convincing
It means getting hit a lot in sparring and in training when you are learning this. You can’t just pick it up over-night. I didn’t want to be doing this type of fighting a couple of months ago. It was against my own will to be standing in the pocket getting hit.
We had our differences me and Packie but I listen to him and trust him with my life. But i can see the improvements now the way i can fight in the pockets. I can see them wearing down in front of my eyes now (in sparring) and I’m not getting touched.
Collins sounds like a great fit for Ray Moylette. It seems to me Ray needs to feel he is in a learning environment where he is being listened to but that in return for this respect he is a man willing to listen, learn and put himself in uncomfortable positions. As in this instance when it comes to developing his inside game
WBC International championship Belt
On this Friday December 7th Ray Moylette fights for the WBC International Belt against Christian Uruzquieta. Big Time boxing returns to Castlebar, County Mayo and the Theatre Royal. This will be a big step up in class. A BIG 10 round fight as a professional a belt up for grabs. He will have a big and boisterous home support and the 2,000 seater arena is very close to sold out three days out.
It can get a little confusing in boxing with the different organising bodies and different belts. To the casual observer let me say this though, if Ray Moylette wins this fight it is likely to catapult him well into the top 15 of the WBC and open a lot of bigger doors for him and his career. A couple of fights in that company and the options gets really interesting.
A lot of Ray Moylette’s career to date has seen him fight in the United States. Coaching and family connections have helped with this.
” My coach Packie Collins has the Connection with Murphy’s boxing (Boston), They’re based in Boston and they run all the shows on the East Coast. The lads Spike Sullivan and Niall Kennedy were on a bill over there for St Patrick’s Day (2017).
Packie asked me would I want to go on the same show and whether he should put a push on with Ken Casey to bring me over.
Tied to this I had a brother over there for 20 years in Boston and he was always asking me to come over. The boxing scene has massive support with the Irish community so when the opportunity came I jumped at it. I landed on my feet with the connection with Ken Casey and Murphy’s boxing”
As a result Moylette has seen his support with Irish diaspora skyrocket over the course of his 11 fight pro career. Indeed he expects some to travel over for the fight on Friday night. He hopes that after this fight that he will be able to build on this support base and continue to fight in the U.S.
As we delve into this we start to talk about his management company Assassin Boxing who have been with him right from the beginning.
” In the beginning I sat down with a few managers, trying to figure out the best path for me. This was all new to me and I had to get it right as this was going to be the last roll of the dice “
” I wasn’t impressed with any of the people i was sitting down with so myself and Martin Brennan went over to Brighton to meet Kaz Evans. from the get go we clicked. He was fairly new to the scene himself but he was hungry and ambitious. I felt if I got on board with someone as hungry as myself we could be a great partnership”
A deal was done. Moylette wanted to have 8 to 10 fights in that first year and Assassin Boxing basically said that was no problem. They would get him fights. In that 1st year Moylette stayed fit and healthy and kept up his end of the bargain. First 4 rounders before moving up to 6 rounders. The action came thick, fast and as we have described earlier not without incident.
Year two has been about putting himself into a position to fight for belts. Longer fights. He moved from 6 rounders to a couple of 8 round bouts and still his record has remained unblemished. So from Ray Moylette’s perspective Assassin Boxing have fulfilled their side of the bargain. The ball is in his court to add another W to the Win column.
As we enter December and this fight with Uruzquieta, he moves up to 10 rounds for the first time and if things go according to plan, on Christmas Day he will have the WBC International Belt wrapped neatly beneath his Christmas tree.
On a final note Ray Moylette wanted to mention that he has recently come on board with the Charity Pieta House. Indeed Mental Health issues are topical in the boxing world at the moment thanks largely to the spotlight shone on them by Tyson Fury.
Ray feels he spent a career largely asking people to help him as an amateur boxer and now professional and that he is in position to start giving back to people and the community. He is planning to announce an event, proceeds going to Pieta House, before Christmas.
Ray Moylette Sponsors: Ryans Structural Steel
Charles at Gymtrition