By Jonny Stapleton
Ray Moylette is just one victory away from Olympic qualification after securing his place on the plane to the World Championships in Baku with a box off win over Ross Hickey on Friday night.
However, the seeded Mayo fighter believes his come from behind 15-13 victory over the Irish Senior Champion proves he can target a medal and not just making the last 16, which provides passage to London 2012.
The European champion, who claims he may have lost his best mate in gaining Ireland’s light welterweight world slot, stressed his opponent in the National Stadium on Friday is world class.
Indeed the St Anne’s BC pugilist doesn’t think he will meet many boxers of Grangecon boxing club man’s ilk even on the global stage, and attributed some of his performance to the fact he had quality in the opposition corner. Speaking about a fight he labelled the biggest of his career Moylette explained. “Ross is as good as any fighter I will face in the Worlds.
That gives you confidence that you can go far, but I will take it one fight at a time. If I win one fight I qualify for the Olympics, that is the way I am looking at it. I am going to go as far as I can, but I will take it one fight at a time.
“Irish boxing has improved so much in the last couple of years. There are so many quality boxers at each weight. You could have sent Ross or myself and both of us would have had a good chance of qualifying. When you have that type of quality in one country you push each other on. If I was in against someone who wasn’t as good as Ross I might not have boxed to that level. He brought the best out of me and I brought the best out of him. It was a cracking fight,” he added before revealing the friends avoided each other a little in recent High Performance Italian training camp.
“Ross and I are best mates in camp. It was a bit different in Italy. We never said a bad word about each other, but we kept out of each others paths. I am sure after this it might never be the same again, but I am sure we will never have a bad word to say to each other.”
Celebration’s were wild when Moylette won in front of a decent sized but amazingly vocal crowd. The fighter himself couldn’t hold his joy and hinted his delight was enhanced by the massive build up to the controversial box off. He also revealed his usually calm approach went out the window after he heard he his Olympic dream was in jeopardy, as he trailed 9-6 going into the last round.
“All the talk and media coverage gave me determination and drive. I didn’t go in their with vengeance or attitude. I went in to box. You are trained not to lose the head or fight in temper so you try not to let that affect you. You pick your shots and stay calm. In saying that I am contradicting myself a little. In the last round when I knew I was behind I just went for it. I knew I had everything to do and nothing to lose. I went all out and picked up the shots. I was talking a bit and enjoying the atmosphere. It was the fans, I wouldn’t be used to that type of atmosphere in Croke Park. When they are behind you anything is possible.”
Moylette, who joins a talented packed Irish team travelling to Azerbaijan on September 26, has had hand problems over the last few weeks and revealed it hampered his perpetration of Fridays fight, but claimed adrenaline proved the perfect pain killer.
“I wasn’t really punching all week to try and save it. Next week I am back with the high performance but I won’t be back punching again until we go back to training camp. If I can do that on 30 percent fitness I can do the business at the worlds.
“When I got into the ring my fans were roaring and the opposition fans roaring really got me going. The adrenaline was up and that’s the best pain killer ever. “There was a lot of talk and a big build up to this fight. It was by far the biggest fights both of our careers to date. I am delighted to win it. I proved my fans and the people that believed in me right.”