“I’m not worried at all about Taylor; boxing is fun for me” Ben Day talks ahead of title bout
By Michael J Jones
THIS SATURDAY at York Hall, light-welterweight prospect Ben “The Entertainer” Day looks to remain unbeaten in his biggest fight to date when facing Ryan Taylor for the vacant Southern Area title. Day, from Teignmouth, Devon but now residing in Euston, recorded his first title victory nine months ago when knocking out Ilja Sovdra in the first to claim a Masters belt.
Now 7-0-1 (2), the youthful 37 year old ended matters with a superb body-shot to stay undefeated and now looks for his second title against the younger, but more experienced, Taylor. Day’s co-challenger has challenged for the Area title twice before, suffering defeats to Liam Shinkwin and Floyd Moore in 2013.
Taylor at 10-5-1 (4) has not only twice as many pro bouts as Day but also a vastly more extensive amateur pedigree. The likable Day isn’t fazed though and appears to hold no fear at all for his toughest opponent to date.
“It’s brilliant that I’m fighting for the Southern Area title as so many people doubted me” Ben tells Livefight this week. “I’ve been told to quit boxing by a few guys and the funny thing is; they’ve come to me for tickets to see the fight! They look at my age but I’m in great shape and age doesn’t matter at all.”
“There’s people dying all over the world but I’m doing the thing that makes me happy so f**k the negative people I say.”
“I’ve made weight with ease for this fight and I think I’ll be moving down to lightweight soon” continues the confident Ben. “Ever since the fight was made I’ve not been overweight and I was 9st 12 for the check weigh-in yesterday. It’s great weight isn’t a problem for me.”
The Devonian made hard work of a six-rounder against Ben Kneller a year ago but looked much more impressive four months later when dispatching the 2-0 Sovdra with a left-hook to the ribs.
“You know what? That fight (with Soudra) was just a minute and a half long but I still learned a lot from it. People forget, I had two white collar fights and now eight pro ones so I’m still learning all the time even at this stage. The way I see it; Ryan Taylor is here fighting for the Southern Area title after 80 odd fights and I’m here after eight so I’m so proud.”
Taylor turned pro the same month as Day back in 2011 and was also 7-0-1 after his first eight contests before Shinkwin edged him 97-94 after ten rounds in his first shot at the Area belt. Just three months later, Taylor was a contender in Prizefighter but was out-pointed by Danny Connor in the semi-finals.
The 27 year old would suffer a crushing knock-out at the hands of Floyd Moore at the end of 2013 and took some time out of his boxing career before returning late last year with a win. The Londoner would then score a useful stoppage of unbeaten Danny Gunn before suffering two reverses in fights he was supposed to win vs Mark McKray and Daniel Bazo.
Tottenham-based Jamaican McKray doesn’t win many but is a strong, dangerous fighter when in the mood and crushed Taylor in just two rounds. More shocking than that was when “Crash Bang” dropped a six-round verdict in his next fight to unknown teenager Bazo, just 2-3-1 coming in.
“The way I see things like that is I take the positives away with me” Ben tells Livefight thoughtfully. “It’s like if you lose one there’s more chance of winning the next one but I may have a different mind-set to (Taylor). Mark McKray is a very strong banger so there’s no shame there. I still see Taylor as a very good fighter and when I beat him I’ll be a better fighter for it.”
“Training has gone very good, I’ve been doing 10k’s in 38 minutes, like I’m sprinting it and I honestly don’t think any other boxer could do that. My running, cardio and sparring have been spot on. I jumped in to spar (former English champion) Tyler Goodjohn one day, he was about three weight divisions bigger than me but I still went toe-to-toe.”
“Afterwards he said he didn’t know how Taylor would work me out in ten rounds as he couldn’t do so in twenty!”
“I’ve seen some of Taylor’s fights but I’m not fussed about (his style) as I can adapt when I’m in there. When I boxed Ben Kneller nothing I was doing was working but I adapted and ended the fight well on top. I met Ryan at the press conference and I’ve got a hell of a lot of respect for him.”
“When we were at the press conference I went to the toilet and he was in there too. He went to hug me and instead grabbed my balls…it was hilarious!”
Testicle-grabbing aside, I ask what kind of tactics Ben may use for Saturday’s title clash?
“I’m just going to be elusive and not get involved. I got involved against Kneller and it turned out harder than expected but I showed a granite chin. Taylor is a come-forward fighter and I doubt he’ll change. Whatever he tries he won’t out-box me or knock me out so I’m ready for him either way.”
“I’m 37 but it’s just a number and I feel great. There had been talk that the winner on Saturday may be in prime position to box for the English title in his next fight. If I went from Masters to Southern Area, then English and the British that’d be happy days for me.”
“Some people have said for me boxing is the bad thing but, for me, boxing is the fun part of life. I’ve had knocks and set-backs in life and have always found opportunity in every circumstance. Nobody is going to hurt me in a boxing ring what hurts me more than anything is business rates.”
“I run a busy, successful gym (Ringtone gym) and that’s always a struggle. Everyone always wants favours and I’ve had to separate myself from things and have had to get a receptionist now. You do people a good turn and the second you turn anybody down because you’re busy training, running a business and selling tickets then suddenly you’re a p***k who wasn’t interested!”
Day has been working with respected Rod Julian at the RJ’s gym ahead of his first ten-rounder I ask how camp has been with his new trainer and gym-mates?
“It’s been fantastic and I feel Rod has enhanced me and actually likes me being awkward. In the Kneller fight I was trying keeping my hands up and I struggled as that wasn’t me; as soon as I boxed the way I like too it won me the fight. Rod is getting me to sit down on my shots but still have fun.”
“I’m serious when it comes to my business but boxing is fun for me…if something isn’t fun you shouldn’t do it right?”
“You’ve brought up Ryan Taylor four or more times now but I’ve not mentioned him once that’s because I’m not worried at all about Ryan Taylor. I’m more excited than I’ve ever been for this fight and Johnny Borrell from Razorlight will hopefully be doing something for my ring entrance.”
“I’ve been training Johnny for ages and he might sing or play the Sax’ or something. If he doesn’t I’ll probably walk in to the ring to ‘Not Afraid’ by Eminem.”
“I’d like to thank Greg White for his help with my dieting and running, all my clients at Ringtone gym for the ticket sales, Rod Julian and all the boys down the RJ gym, Tim Rickson and also my girlfriend for putting up with all this crazy sh*t I put her through.”
Unbeaten Teignmouth-born boxer, Ben ‘The Entertainer’ Day (7-0-1) is due to fight Londoner Ryan ‘Crash Bang’ Taylor (10-5-1) on December 5th at London’s York Hall for the now vacant Southern Area super-lightweight title.
The Goodwin Promotions show will feature two Southern Area clashes on a packed event boasting a whopping 18 scheduled fights.
The packed Goodwin Promotions show boasts yet another exciting Southern Area clash as well as nine unbeaten prospects and two debutants.
Baghdad-born Ali Adams (14-1) and unbeaten Dominic Akinlade (4-0-1) will clash for the vacant Southern Area heavyweight title.
34-year-old Adams’ most recent loss came at the hands of former European champion and Prizefighter winner, Audley Harrison and his latest win was over Larry Olubamiwo, a former Southern Area heavyweight champion himself.
35-year-old South Londoner, Akinlade’s inferior experience is made up by the fact that he has taken the unbeaten record from three of his five opponents, who have a combined record of 9-6.
New recruit, Wadi Camacho (13-5) gets his debut outing under the Goodwin Promotions banner.
Peckham’s Johnny Garton (15-1-1), a former Southern Area welterweight titleholder takes part in a six-rounder, in what will be a tune-up fight for a major title challenge next year.
Promoter Steve Goodwin’s son, Josh competes in his professional debut over four three-minute super-middleweight rounds.
The 20-year-old from Leighton Buzzard has staged his own shows under the Goodwin Sports banner and turns over after many years as an amateur at Luton Academy.
Former English super-lightweight champion, Tyler Goodjohn (11-4) makes his eagerly-awaited return to professional boxing after an 11 month hiatus in a six-round welterweight contest.