Not many Mayo men would publicly call a place in Dublin home, but Ray Moylette isn’t your ordinary man from the West.
The fighter, who deliberately put added pressure on himself by taking the ‘Sugar Ray’ mantle, became a National Stadium favourite during his long and distinguished career as an amateur and returns to the venue he is most comfortable competing in as a pro this evening.
Tonight’s fight represents a homecoming for the 27 year old and he is delighted to be back in were he first tasted major success as he fights in Ireland for the first time as a paid puncher.
“I am delighted to be back home fighting on green soil,” Moylette told Irish-Boxing.com.
“I’ve had massive experience and exposure on my travels when fighting in London and Boston. I loved every minute of it but it’s great to come back home to fight and to give my family and close friends and indeed my supporters from around the country a little snippet of what is to come for the future,” he added before suggesting he wants to bring big time boxing back to the Wild West.
“At the minute Dublin is home but, as I progress, I plan to head closer to the west coast and county Mayo as I plan to bring big time boxing back to the Wild West.”
Like most amateur graduates, the National Stadium has been central to Moylette’s career and is a venue in which he achieved a host of fight goals. Indeed the Islandeady man is generally all about the present and focusing on what’s next, but he was happy to take a trip down memory lane.
“I have been boxing in the Stadium since I was 11 years old. It really is the centre stone if my whole career so it’s great to have the opportunity to grace the once again in my old stomping ground,” he continued
“Some of my greatest memories come from the Stadium. I won my first Irish tittle at a very young age, I was just 11.”
“I went on to take plenty more but there is always something special about the first.”
“I’ve had some epic battles in that ring too with great fighters such as Phil Sutcliffe, Eric Donavan and Steven Donnelly. You know, I didn’t win them all but still have great memories coming back to me after them fights.”
As Moylette explained, not all his National Stadium fights brought happy memories. His last in particular left a bitter taste in his mouth. A split decision reverse to Dean Walsh looked to put paid to his Olympic dream.
The Mayo fan favourite will be hoping he is celebrating rather than remonstrating with his fans, who often populate the top left hand corner of the famous venue, this Saturday night and suggested that he puts all disappointments behind him and uses them as motivation going forward.
“The last fight [at the Stadium] left a source taste but what can you do? You pick up the ball again and you keep running. I have no doubt in my professional career.”
On his return Moylette is faced with a late replacement. Initially due to take a step up to six rounds to face French Guianan Arnold Martinez, Moylette will now instead face Dutch-Nigerian Innocent Anyanwu, a perhaps even greater test.
[25(15)-21(4)-3]. The game former BeNeLux champ endeared himself to Irish fans last year when he pushed Jake Hanney hard, and has caused plenty of upsets throughout his career.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish