Derby boxer Dave Ryan says he hopes to round off the perfect month for his family by winning back his Commonwealth super-lightweight belt when he boxes Josh Taylor at Meadowbank next Friday.
The 33-year-old is not the only member of the Ryan family to have found a way to win inside a boxing ring with, younger sister and former world No.1 Sandy having won 60kg gold at Bulgaria’s Balkan tournament last Saturday.
He revealed that he and his sibling regularly find the time to work out together in preparation for their respective bouts, Sandy – who is 11 years younger – proving to be quite the able training partner.
“We try and bring each other on as much as we can,” Ryan said. “We even have a couple of rounds sparring together, which felt a bit weird at first, but it’s now just like any other normal sparring session where I hit her as hard as she hits me.
“She’s just come back from Bulgaria with a gold, so it’s my turn next to end this year on a high and make it a cause for a double celebration when I face Josh next week.”
Having overcome current British champion Tyrone Nurse to win the Commonwealth title in 2014, Ryan is desperate to become champion for a second time, having relinquished his title to John Wayne Hibbert at the O2 Arena in September last year.
Despite acknowledging Taylor, who has six consecutive knockouts since signing with Cyclone promoter Barry McGuigan last summer, is a fine boxer in the making, he believes he has enough experience in his locker to take care of one of Scotland’s most talked about athletes.
“I do believe that Josh is going to go a long way in boxing but I think they’ve pushed him too soon too far and I know I am going to come and spoil the party,” he said ahead of the fight that will also be broadcast exclusively live on Channel 5.
“It’s going to be a tough fight, don’t get me wrong. But I’m going to be holding in there and come round five I’m going to start taking it up a level. He’s going to a place he’s never been before. He’s never had an opponent who fights back as he’s always had guys who have come to lose. I’m going to take him into deep waters.
“We can all spar 20 rounds, but it’s when you get in there it’s the fight that counts. It’s a completely different ball game when I start punching you back.
“I’m at the peak of my career at the moment, so Josh Taylor is going to face the best Dave Ryan there is. I’ve been over in Portugal training so I’ve come back feeling really fit and strong and probably the best physical condition I’ve ever been in to be fair.”
Ryan accepts he will take on the role as pantomime villain at the Capital venue in nine days time, but insists that merely adds fuel to the fire where he is concerned.
“Fighting away doesn’t bother me one bit – I’m used to being the away fighter in front of a hostile crowd,” he said. “If anything it brings the best out of me. It affects fighters in different ways but let’s be straight here, there’s no pressure on me whatsoever as it’s in his backyard and everyone is expecting him to win.
“Even though it’s a long way I’ve got a few fans coming up from Derby, so I’ll have a nice little following there. They’ll be the ones celebrating come the end of the night.”
Two-weight world champion Carl Frampton, who will be part of Channel 5’s commentary team at Meadowbank and a stable-mate of Taylor’s, told the Evening News last week this is a fight Ryan simply cannot win and expects the Prestonpans star to “cut him to bits”.
“Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion,” Ryan said. “Frampton trains with the lad but it would be the same if one of my fighters I train with was boxing on a show, I’d big them up and say ‘they’re going to do this and do that’. It’s just the way it is, it’s boxing for you.”
British flyweight champion Andrew Selby (5-0) is the latest name to be added to the bill, with the Welshman set to fight Hermogenes Elizabeth Castillo (11-0) of Nicaragua.
• Tickets for this fantastic evening of championship boxing at the Meadowbank Arena in Edinburgh on Friday, October 21 are on sale now from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and are priced £40, £60 and £100 VIP. For VIP Packages please contact firstname.lastname@example.org