It was all set up for ‘Daniel-San’ to be the hero of Karate Kid film franchise, but when Ray Ginley watched the cult 80s film he was more drawn to Mr Miyagi.
We very much doubt Ginley had a poster of the wise old fight sage on his wall, but it does seems that the former super middleweight prospect was always more interested in the planning of rather than planting of punches – and tactical warfare rather than going to war himself.
After a two year sabbatical. ‘Sugar Ray’ is back in boxing. However, in a move that might surprise some, the 23 year old has not returned to improve on his 6-0 record – rather he returns as a coach.
Speaking to Irish-Boxing.com about the development the Belfast man revealed that it was training and coaching was something that always intrigued him more that fighting.
“I always wanted to be a coach,” he said.
“I always loved studying and watching boxing. I always loved being coached, listening to what different things coaches would teach me and trying them. I never actually liked fighting myself I just loved learning and improving in the gym and sparring. The actual fighting part I done because I had to!”
It seems Ginley missed the fight game, but not the fighting and stresses a comeback never crossed his mind.
“I never considered coming back to box, not at all! I’ve developed a pretty good business with my personal training now and I enjoy that.”
Carl Frampton’s coach Shane McGuigan has proved you don’t need to have broken your nose in 700 places, literally lived in a gym for 30 years, or to have grey hairs to be a successful coach.
However, at 23, Ginley is still as young as it gets in terms of coaching and he himself is honest enough to admit he not only has to prove himself to the boxing family, but has to prove his training worth to those he trains and himself.
The younger brother of former pro Mark Ginley does claims he has been studious over the years in gyms both home and abroad, and is somewhat confident he can bring that to his training. Indeed, what he might lack in experience he is adamant he won’t lack in commitment, effort, and desire.
“I’m not quite sure what I can offer as a coach to be honest. I could end up being a useless coach and this would be a pretty short venture for me. All I can do is use all the experienced I gained the four years I was boxing professionally both here and in the USA.”
“I have worked with some amazing coaches in my career. I understand most coaches spend years working under other experienced top coaches before becoming coaches themselves but there just isn’t that many professional coaches here like there are in the UK and in the US,” he continued before admitting he has a lot to learn.
“I have a lot to learn and I am going to invest in myself as a coach and try my best to travel and gain as much experience as I can. What I do have to offer is commitment, I will be 110% committed to any fighter that wants to work with me. The coaches I worked best with weren’t maybe the best tactically but we had a great working relationship and I performed the best. That’s what I want with all my boxers a healthy and happy working relationship.”
Ginley already looks set to work with Irish title hopeful and former Emerald Promotions stablemate Gerard Healy, and hopes to confirm more horses in his stable doors very soon.
“I am expecting to announce a couple of boxers I’m working with at present in the new year. Our plan of action is that when a fighter joins our stable we have everything to offer them. I will be covering the boxing side of things. James Higgins a great and experienced strength and conditioning coach will look after their conditioning, and there will be a sports nutritionist there to help make sure all our fighters are fueled to perform.”
“Times have changed and although there is a place for the old school, traditional approach, it’s proven than S&C and the right nutrition does improve performance and we want to make sure that’s what our boxers are doing. Performing at their maximum potential.”
While Ginley has yet to prove himself as a coach, and will need time to develop a name as a teacher of the noble art, he has been given a vote of confidence by one of Ireland’s greatest ever amateurs.
New Top Rank signing and pro star of the future Micheal Conlan has been using his junior to help with fitness before he moves Stateside to work with Manny Robles in the new year.
“Mick is a friend of mine and knowing I help a few amateur and pro boxers with their conditioning just gave me a text to say he fancied doing a few sessions leading up to his move to LA. I have just been helping him when he wanted to get him fit. We don’t do anything for boxing just for fitness. It’s great to work with him, it’s a privilege to be able to say that I participated in his career even though only for a very short time. I can always say I helped him and that’s good enough for me. I’m buzzing to head over to NYC for his debut!”