Home Boxing News Ryan Clark looking to lose journeyman tag

Ryan Clark looking to lose journeyman tag

Ryan Clark has been known as one of the hardest working journeymen of recent times. Touring the country and taking on the best up and coming fighters he has developed a reputation for been one of the hardest there is on the small hall network and beyond. With a record of 60 fights and just 3 wins Ryan wants to put the journeyman tag behind him. His last fight saw him win the International Masters Super-Middleweight title against Jonjo Finnegan and he fights Jonjo again on the 27th of July at the Town Hall, Burton-On-Trent.

Written and interviewed by Peter Van Leyden

Photos by Peter Van Leyden and Danny Hill

I arranged to meet with Ryan and compile an interview at the popular Carl Greaves stable in Newark, Ryan agreed to meet with me and gave me his number in case I got lost because my eye for direction is poor at times. “Left at McDonalds” he said, so I jumped in my car and around half hour later I noticed Big Macs, I took a swift left and ended on an industrial estate that was home to many businesses and companies. After asking where the boxing gym was I finally managed to find it after crawling along the road in my car at a snails pace. When I got into the car park there was a sign on the wall reading “Carl Greaves Boxing Academy” and I could hear loud music blaring out as there was a bodybuilding gym next to the boxing gym.

I walked into the gym and my eyes were greeted by a man waiting on his own, I introduced myself and he said his name was Russ. Russ was waiting for Ryan who had contacted him saying he would be late for training. I politely said I would go outside and wait after declining the opportunity to grab a coffee in the tiny café available on site. Not long after I got back to my car I spotted Ryan as his car pulled into the car park. I noticed a large looking dog sat next to him and when Ryan got out of the car a Rottweiler jumped out. I said “hello” to Ryan and he informed me his dog was called Lenny after the late, great, unlicensed fighter Lenny “The Guvnor” McLean. Ryan got ready and then commenced his training with Russ, the gentleman I had met previously. I was informed that the training would be pad work and then some core exercises.

Ryan had told me he walks around at 12 stone 4 pounds and fights at super middleweight, he informed me that he has never had a problem with making weight. As mentioned at the beginning Clark was in training for a well anticipated rematch with boxer Jonjo Finnegan. Ryan had ground out a win against Jonjo previously after getting caught early himself by a peach of a left hook that connected to send Clark to the canvas. Ryan recovered to beat the count and won the contest in the 8th round after the ref stopped the fight in favour of Clarke as Jonjo appeared exhausted. Finnegan took a barrage of punches that eventually forced him to fall onto the seat of his trunks.

 

Usually Ryan often takes fights at short notice, agreeing to fight in his opponents back yard at short notice. He is used to mixing in good company against many up and coming prospects. Considering the amount of fights Ryan has had this has not appeared to have made any impression on the fighters handsome features and at just 22 he is still a fountain of youth .

As Clark was working hard on the pads with Russ it was apparent that he had an air of confidence about him with a fresh new ambition to become a contender himself and move up the domestic rankings. He has intentions of challenging for the British Super Middleweight Championship and earning the right to have the prestigious Lonsdale belt wrapped around his waist. At 22 Ryan says he is avoiding taking fights at short notice any longer, simply because he feels he has much more to bring to the ring with the correct preparations and training. Ryan trains twice a day and is sponsored by a leading company called CNP that was proudly emblazoned on the back of his t-shirt.

As the pad work moved closer to its ending Russ was pushing Ryan who was unleashing hard looking combinations that were landing on target. Concentration etched on Ryan’s face, he worked away responding to the instructions from Russ to throw varied combinations. When the pad work was over Ryan immediately went into core work using a medicine ball which was thrown by Russ to Ryan while he was laid on his back, then to-and-fro from each dedicated participant until each timed session was complete.

After the session we sat down and with Russ present we had the following conversation.

Ringnews24: When was your first ever interest in boxing?
Ryan: There was no interest at all before I laced a glove on, one day I went down to the gym and it went on from there really. I never watched it as well and had no interest when I was at school .

Ringnews24: Did you fight as an amateur?
Ryan: I had 12 fights as a senior at club shows, fighting around the county in the novices. I boxed with Bracebridge in Lincoln.

Ringnews24: Have you any idols in boxing?
Ryan: Mike Tyson, I liked his style. I’m an aggressive come forward fighter, I loved watching Mike’s fights and liked his attitude. He is the man, and he can hit mate.

Ryan: I like those glasses your wearing, they are cool as (regarding the glasses I am wearing). I want some of them glasses.
Russ: We will get them off you on your way out. (ALL LAUGH)
Ringnews24: If you win the British Lonsdale Belt I will get you some.

Ringnews24: Have you any influences away from boxing?
Ryan: My father, my family. I want to be a family man as well. I’ve had all my fights and had my losses, now I want to try and make a living from it and try and get to the top and show my kids what their dad was.
Ringnews24: Have you got any children?
Ryan: Not yet no, i’m keeping away from all that until i’m ready. I’m still a big kid myself.

Ringnews24: How long have you been a professional Ryan and how many fights have you had now in all?
Ryan: I have been pro for 2 and a half years now. I’ve had 60 fights, I was the busiest fighter in the world last year with 27. There is a guy from Mexico who had 25 fights, second most fights after myself.
Ringnews24: I like Mexican fighters!
Ryan: I like British fighters!
Russ: I like Newark fighters! (ALL LAUGH)
Ringnews24: I tell you what boxers from Newark are tough aren’t they?
Ryan: And they are pretty as well, well this one is.

Ringnews24: Can you tell me about your previous fights?
Ryan: I’ve won 3, drawn 4, lost 53. I’ve only been stopped twice and of those fights I lost a lot were by 1 point as I was in the away corner and everybody knows what its like when you’re in the away corner. I’ve been stopped twice in my career but they were TKO i’ve never been KO’d.

Ringnews24: Who has been your toughest opponent in your career ?
Ryan: I have not had a toughest opponent. Everybody says that Frank Buglioni was my toughest but I was teasing him and taking his punches, I have offered him out again and he said “yes”. He wants to fight for the English title so hopefully down the line we can meat up again, Frank didn’t hurt me once. I never respect anyone as a tough fighter, I am the toughest fighter they have ever faced. I respect every fighter for what they do, I don’t take fights at short notice anymore, I just won a title (International Masters Super Middleweight Belt) and i’m now ranked 17th in Great Britain. Carl Froch is number 1 and I am 17th. It can happen, I can win the British title and have the Lonsdale belt wrapped around my waist, I have got the credentials to achieve it.
Ringnews24: You are young enough at 22.
Ryan: I can hit and i’m certainly good looking enough as well, always in the mirror.

Ringnews24: Are you a full time boxer?
Ryan: Yes I am full time, I do the odd day on a building site and my Dad helps me out a lot. My Dad does well for me mate and I could not ask for a better Dad, I have some good sponsors as well. I took five weeks off this time from fighting as I needed a break mate. I refuelled myself, had a drink and a good bit of food and that. Then I was back in the gym, I train twice a day now and I also have a personal trainer. As well as training at Carls gym my personal trainer goes on his bike while I run. There is a great atmosphere at the gym and we have a laugh, its such a good laugh when all the lads are here. Theres a good bit of banter and sarcasm, we are a team and family of friends .

Ringnews24: Have you got any hobbies?
Ryan: I like dog walking, I go horse riding and I play the piano and i’m really good. My favourite (music) artist is Adele.

Ringnews24: What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Ryan: Winning the International Masters Super Middle Weight belt is not my biggest achievement. It’s the best turn around in my career. Its not even my best performance, he (Jonjo Finnegan) has not seen the real Ryan Clark yet. I promise you, when I get into the ring on the 27th of July he will know how hard he has been hit mate, he will not last very long with me this time. He can say all the words he wants mate but he won’t have an answer this time. I’m selling tickets and taking a lot of fans with me. The last time I fought I had a proper 8 weeks before the fight and I went to his back yard. Full respect to him he dropped me but I got up and I chinned him mate, like I said I would.
Russ: Ryan had the best training, the best sparring and the best nutritionist. He never had that in his previous fights.
Ryan: I am feeling even better this time, the diet is going well and it’s a secret what I eat.

Ringnews24: Have you got anything to say to Jonjo as I will be going to interview him and ask the exact questions I asked you Ryan?
Ryan: Full respect to him. He is a nice guy, however, business is business. There is no way he is getting that belt, no way. He caught me with a fantastic shot the last time and I have never been down like that before but this time my punches will hurt him.

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