Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor

When Sting took to the microphone and declared himself a legal alien while he resided in New York, he could have been easily describing Ryan Taylor’s journey to the Big Apple.  The 27 year old from London has a long and storied career in amateur boxing that covers 10 years of fighting, but perhaps the most colourful story to come from it is his time spent in America entering a competition he should never have been allowed to participate in.  “I was the only Englishman to ever enter the Golden Gloves tournament” he tells me.  “They all knew I was English but I got my friend in New York to doctor my paperwork for me.  They couldn’t prove I was ineligible to fight in the tournament!  I had a good first fight, won that and went out in a very close fight to the future Golden Gloves champion so that was a real good experience.  I was based in the Bronx and it was great experience, the trip was about five months of training and fighting, all boxing.”
 
Long before he took the trip over the pond Taylor started boxing back in his home city of London.  Aged 12 he joined Newham Boxing Club and participated in over 40 bouts before heading to Haringey in North London where he took part in another 40.  It was at 22 years old when Taylor took part in the Golden Gloves, the American national amateur tournament which has a long list of high profile former winner.  Notable recent names include former IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter, current WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and recent Floyd Mayweather opponent Andre Berto.  Look further back on the winners list and you will see names such as Ray Robinson (before he was ‘Sugar’) and famed trainer Emanuel Steward.  It is the greats of the past that act as a motivation for Taylor in the sport of boxing as he tells me:
 
“I’m a historian and have studied the game from a young age.  It’s nice to be a part of that history of great fighters that I looked up to as a kid and now I’ve become one of them.  Along the way you of course want to pick up belts and look good, but it’s nice to become one of the people I looked up to.”
 
Once his escapade to America came to an end Taylor returned to the UK and fought for Leeds in the ABAs, winning the Yorkshire title.  He also picked up a number of London titles as an amateur and reached numerous national finals.  It was at 23 that he turned over to the professional sport, starting out with trainer Tony Sims and fighting under the Matchroom promotional banner.  His career to date has seen him have 15 fights taking in 10 wins, 4 losses and a single draw.  Four of those wins have come by way of knockout.  It has taken Taylor time to find his natural weight and is reflective of the struggles he faced early on when professional:  “I fought at lightweight for the majority of my early career and struggled at that weight.  I did win a Masters title and lost a close points decision for the Southern Area to Liam Shinwin on Sky Sports but then I decided to step up in weight class as it was draining me too much” he says.  That loss to Shinwin happened in 2013 at Wembley Arena, which is when he decided to step up a weight division.  “I’m a lot better at light welterweight as it suits my natural size and now I can push on.”
Taylor’s next outing is on October 17th when he takes on Daniel Bazo (2-3-1) of the Czech Republic on the Goodwin Promotions show ‘We Never Stop’ from York Hall.  How aware is he of the opponent who is travelling over?  “I’ve looked into his record and I know he’s young, fresh and hungry so it’s what I want.”  It will provide another test for Taylor, who is clear in what he sees his short term path as being.  “We have the fight on October 17th against a good opponent from the Czech Republic and then after that we want the Southern Area title fight.  It may be the end of this year or the start of next year, but one fight at a time.”
 
Taylor linked up with Goodwin Promotions at the end of 2014, but he has been familiar with the promotional group for a number of years.  It was while with trainer Tony Sims that he first took part during a quiet period on a Goodwin event.  “It was a very good show even back then and we’ve been in contact since.  When we sat and had a chat I realised he was the best man to steer my career as you can put your trust in him.  I signed with Steve (Goodwin) at the end of 2014 and we have had a good run since, especially winning the Masters title” says Taylor.

The outing on October 17th sees the debut of the ambitious new setup at York Hall that is promising to give those in attendance a new experience of small hall boxing shows.  What does Taylor make of the plans?  “For me it’s the best thing for the supporters and the crowd, they’ll love seeing all of that.  It’s excellent that Steve has invested in it all and it means a lot to everyone and is part of the business.”

While Taylor’s career may have taken in over 90 fights in both the professional and amateur forms, he is adamant that he has plenty to offer still.  “As a professional I’ve had some really good fights but I think the best is to come from me and I look forward to proving that soon.”  October 17th sees him being given the platform to push on and establish himself within the light welterweight division.  His aim of capturing the Southern Area title will hopefully present itself in the forthcoming months; it is being fought for on the October 17th card between Floyd Moore and Danny Carter.  Taylor will be a spectator with a vested interest.

There are a number of people Taylor wanted to thank for their continued support in his fighting career including Eddie Jones from his workplace, First Response, South London Timber, PWM UK Limited and his main supporter who has always been his dad.