PZ: At what age did you get into boxing?
GR Jr: My dad used train at Scarborough ABC and he used to take me down. I was about seven then. However, I spent more time watching than participating at that point. Truth be told, I used to fall asleep most of the time!
PZ: Tell me about your amateur career.
GR JR: I had my first amateur fight when I was 11 and went on to have about 80 fights. I always did well in the schoolboys and Junior ABA’s and couldn’t get enough of the gym.
I always boxed in good company, boxing in Denmark, Germany and a number of other countries. Around 20 lads I boxed against in the amateurs have now turned pro.
Fighting as an amateur was incredible and I’ll take away memories that will last a lifetime. Although you fight as an individual, in the amateurs, you always feel part of a team. I loved the camaraderie and I’ve made friends for life.
PZ: I believe your dad was a major inspiration growing up. Tell me about his influence
GR JR: My passion for boxing is in the genes. My granddad boxed in the army and then my dad started to box when he was a lad. Growing up as a kid myself, I quickly became inspired when seeing him going through his routines in the gym, but also to witness his level of fitness. He used to participate in an event called the Coal Hump, which is predominantly done as a team. In fact he once did it with Paul Ingle – possibly more than once in fact, breaking all kinds of records. However – he also ran it on his own. That’s an 8 stone sack of coal over a 4 mile circuit – weighing only 11 stone himself at the time. I think he even won it on his own on one occasion! His fitness was incredible. Still not bad now!
He was also a great southpaw amateur boxer. Paul Ingle would top the bill for the juniors, and my dad would top the bill for the seniors.
PZ: Toughest amateur fight?
GR JR: Toughest fight was against someone who is now one of my best friends. His name is George Horner, from Bridlington. I boxed him at the Yorkshire Final. I beat him, simply because I had a bit more experience, but it was a really tough bout. The atmosphere that night was like Bridlington versus Scarborough and was electric.
PZ: You have your debut on the 26th June. Do you have a confirmed opponent yet?
GR JR: No opponent confirmed as yet. Dave (Coldwell) is working on it.
PZ: How’s the training camp been going?
GR Jr: Going really well. Weight is spot on. Although, being the food and beverage manager at a theme park does provide me with more than enough temptations!
I’m pretty tall for a pro welterweight and was well designed for points scoring in the amateurs. I’ve had to plant my feet more now, slow things down in general and work on power. I want to keep my speed, but I’m also aware that the pros is more about hurting the opponent and that’s not often done when trying to bounce in and out scoring points.
I’ve always trained very hard, but everything has now gone up a level. The sparring, the roadwork, and those essential little adjustments have been made.
PZ: Tell me a bit more about the team around.
GR JR: Dave Coldwell is my manager. My dad trains me with Alan Edwards.
PZ: How inspirational is Paul Ingle to you as a boxer and someone to aspire to?
GR JR: He’s a massive inspiration. He’s a walking legend.
When I met with him recently to tell him I was looking to turn pro, he turned to me and said – ‘Why not try football instead?’!! All you have to do is look at the belts he won, right the way up to Junior Junes. That speaks volumes.
PZ: Your best assets as a boxer?
GR JR: My work rate and speed
PZ: Where would you like to be in 12 months time in terms of your boxing?
GR JR: I’d like to be undefeated and boxing on some big shows. I’d like to be still learning and improving my skills along the way.
PZ: Tell the readers one thing about yourself which not many people know.
GR JR: I own four terrapins and a dog!
PZ: If you could spar three rounds with any past boxing legend, who would it be?
GR JR: It would have to be Muhammed Ali.
Photo courtesy of Scarborough News, with Full Copyright