Matt Doherty may have enjoyed his best spell in the first and second rounds of his grudge match with Ray Moylette [9(3)-0] on Saturday night, but winning his very own version of Round Zero played a part in Mayo success on the night claims ‘Sugar Ray’.
The Paschal Collins-trained fighter seemed to relish the build-up as he transitioned from journeyman to eager and hungry opposition and claims the verbal jousting ahead of the clash in Quincy was as effective as it was fun.
The Westerner believes that the Salem Irish-American, who did some talking himself, was rattled and riled by the things he had to say, meaning he came out all guns blazing early on, which in turn allowed the more calm Moylette to dominate from then onwards.
The 2011 European gold medalist eventually took a unanimous decision win after six rounds, with scorecards of 58-56 and 59-55 (twice).
“I really enjoyed the build-up,” Moylette told Irish-Boxing.com.
“I got more confidence the more Matt was reacting to my statements. When we came face to face at the weigh-in for the first time I knew what I had been saying had affected him. There was anger in his eyes and doubt in his heart,” he added before stressing the grudge element also helped the swing bout which played out after midnight capture some fan attention.
“It made the fight more appealing to the fans and it lived up to the expectations. We went in there and fought it out for six hard rounds. As we were after the main event I thought the stadium would be empty by the time I made it to the ring but a massive crowd had waited to watch our fight. That tells you the interest people had in it.”
Having strung eight wins together in 2017 the fighter who deliberately took the ‘Sugar Ray’ moniker to put pressure on himself, faced a step up on Saturday.
Reflecting on the fight, which was sprinkled with spice due to a non-friendly build=up, Moylette was content more than overjoyed.
The 27-year-old would have liked to have scored a stoppage but was content to increase his winning record against a fighter he admits, albeit reluctantly considering the bad blood, was the best he had shared a ring with.
“Looking back on the fight, I’m pretty happy overall.”
“It took me a little longer to get started than I would have liked. As we predicted he ran at me from the first bell and that was always going to be his best round.”
“I settled into the fight from round two and by the end of it, I was a little unlucky not to get him out if there. He was hurt and he had nothing left in his punches.”
Although it’s something Doherty can also claim affected him, Moylette found out quite quickly the issues with being one side of the swing bout.
The Islandeady lightweight found being on standby difficult especially as he warmed up and down numerous times before actually getting into the ring at 12:30am.
“I was pretty fatigued too mainly from the build up. As I was the swing bout I was ready to go from the first fight. Warming up and cooling down between fights wasn’t ideal. Waiting for fights to finish early and on edge will they? Won’t they? It was pretty exhausting both physically and mentally,” he added before reflecting further on Doherty.
“He was a pretty decent opponent. Maybe my best to date? But I still feel he wasn’t anywhere near my level.”
“He spoiled me for the early stages, running in and holding. He was really dirty with the head inside. He basically used his head for everything. Forcing it on me on the way in, butting inside in the clinches – and he also used his head for soaking up my punches.
“I don’t know what his game plan was or if he had any? But looking back on it he was fuelled with anger and the only success he had was with his head so I guess he just worked with that.”
“All in all, it was a great fight and a great win. I felt I showed class with my skill and showmanship with my confidence.”