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Frome boxer overwhelmed by support at debut

Ryan (right) with training partner Rob Brown.

Ryan (right) with training partner Rob Brown.

FROME’Syoung boxer Ryan Wheeler recently scored a draw in his professional debut after a last minute opponent change, and is back in the gym training for his next fight.

After  almost ten years and 60 amateur fights, Ryan made his debut as a professional lightweight on Saturday 11th October at Action Indoor Sports, Whitchurch, Bristol.

Ryan said, “I arrived at the venue thinking I was fighting a guy from Swindon that I had been studying, but was told he wouldn’t take the fight and I’d have a tougher but beatable opponent.

“I went ahead still very confident after all the training I’d done and all the support I had behind me. I weighed underweight at under 59kg and my opponent came in at 61kg; already he not only had two fights’ experience but also a weight advantage.

“The first round started slow for me – nerves kept me focused but I was falling short with punches. Round two I came out landing more shots to the sound of the crowd screaming ‘Wheeler’! We boxed another close, even round.

“I felt more confident as the third round began when my opponent hesitated to get up from his stool and I noticed a cut above his eye. We fought another tough round but I thought I took the round comfortably.

“I was still feeling good in the fourth and felt it was the decider, so I pushed hard and hurt my opponent with a body shot, but he held on to me and made it a slow last round. My friends and family were all celebrating thinking I had done just enough to take the victory.

“The decision was called out a draw. Even today I still have a massive smile on my face! I am happy with my performance; I picked up on a few things to work on but overall it was a great experience. I walked away with a draw after having a last minute change of opponent who was nine pounds heavier than me. Even though I didn’t get the result I wanted, I’m very happy with my performance and felt in great shape.

“120 people came to support me, mainly from Frome but one friend from Leicester! My sponsors ‘Metro Rod Bristol and the  ‘Red Falcon Project also came along to see me in action. The atmosphere was overwhelming. The fact that so many people come to get behind me motivates me to keep training hard, working towards a win, and aiming for some titles in the near future. I will be back in the ring before Christmas chasing for that win.”

Ryan will be fighting again in the local area at the beginning of December.