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TOPCLASS Q&A WITH WELSH PROSPECT GERAINT GOODRIDGE

In his first year as a professional, Port Talbot’s Geraint Goodridge has remained unbeaten. The 29-year-old Middleweight/Super middleweight, orthodox boxer, is in action again on the 21st, October at LC2, Swansea.

I caught up with him to discuss his career so far.

How did you get into boxing and what age did you start going to the gym?

Hi Rob, can I start by saying it’s great to get the chance to do an interview with you. I started going to a boxing gym at the age of six, as my brothers Wayne and Glan have always gone to the gym. I took to a different sport, at first, football. I played for several decent teams but always wanted to get in the ring. At the age of 28, football had to step aside and the gloves went on. Since my first fight, I’ve never looked back and boxing has become my life.

What was your amateur record and did you win anything as an amateur boxer?

My amateur career only lasted three years, within eight fights I boxed in a welsh semi-final against Callum Evans, who was involved with the Welsh development squad. It was a close run fight, in which, I thought I was going to get the nod. The decision went to Callum but that was kinda when I got recognised. I became involved with Colin Jones (former World title challenger) and the Welsh squad from that fight. Although a welsh vest was my dream I never did get one. After 22 amateur fights, 17 wins, I decided to turn professional. I set a dream for a pro-Welsh title, that day, and that one isn’t gonna slip my grasp.

As an amateur fighter, was it always your dream to turn professional?

Most definitely, a dream to turn professional as an amateur, it was my dream before that. Even as a footballer, I used to watch big fights on TV and think, ‘I wanna be in there doing that in front of people one day’.

Is it tough to go full-time? Do you have to be more flexible to make a living from the sport?

I’m lucky in that sense, I have my own business, so when I need to up the training I can change my hours to suit. I’ve explained to my customers that for the next few years my boxing will coincide with my business. They’ve been supportive and understanding. I have a lot of businesses who help me out to cover my expenses for training. That means so much and I return the favour in advertising them, I respect everyone’s support so much.

Who is your current trainer and where do you train?

My current trainer is amateur and professional Commonwealth belt winner Jamie Arthur. I’m based at Arthur’s gym in Rhydfelin (Pontypridd, South Wales). I have so much to thank Jamie for, he took a gamble on me because I left it late (turning pro). He believes in me and given me the chance. Having someone that achieved what he did, believe in you just spurs you on. We have become very close he’s one of my best friends. I wanna achieve as much as I can, to repay his belief and take titles back to Arthurs gym.

How would you describe your fighting style?

I’m a fighter who likes to go forward and take the fight to them, I have a big heart and life experience has taught me never to give up. I back myself 100% and if you’re coming in the ring with me, you’re in for a fight.

How do you feel you’ve progressed as a professional?

My first three professional fights have gone well. I’m unbeaten, two wins and a draw can’t be bad. Two of them were away from home. I’m learning off Jamie all the time and constantly getting better. Arthur and Goody are coming to take what’s ours, watch this space!

Your recent fight with Liam Hunt ended in a draw. What did you make of your performance and was a draw the right result?

Can I start by saying Liam is a top bloke and I have great respect for him, a tough warrior of a fighter. It was hard going into his backyard and fighting him in front of his fans but during the fight, I felt I earned respect from them. Honestly, I thought I had won the fight and I think I deserved the win. However, the decision went as a draw, we cant leave it at that surely? So now, it’s time for Liam to come fight me in Wales and get the respect of my fans down here. I’m ready when he is!

What is going on with your boxing career now – can you tell readers when, where and against whom you will be fighting next?

I’m fighting in the lc2, Swansea on October 21st at 7 pm. I’m not sure of the opponent, Jamie knows him; he always does his homework. We will look at him this week, the name is not important to me, it’s another stepping stone to a Welsh title dream and come fight night I’ll be ready.

How far away are you from a Welsh title fight?

I don’t know how far away I am but I’m working towards it. I have to start upping the rounds and have a few six and eight rounders. Each fight is a stepping stone and when the title shot comes, it’s time to achieve a dream and prove every last doubter wrong.

How can fans get tickets to your next fight?

I’m on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as Geraint Goodridge. I have a pro boxing page, on Facebook, which is Geraint Goodridge pro boxer. You can message me there or also contact Jamie Arthur. Your support means everything. Respect!

Do you have a message for the fans?

My fan base is growing, every fight more people get behind me. That’s great! I would like to thank you all individually, everyone who has bought a ticket and messages me. Thanks so much and if you’re at my next fight, be loud and let us keep moving forward together. I salute you. God bless.

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