Five years ago, aged 32, London-based boxer, Ben Day, picked up his professional boxing license from the BBBofC after experiencing just two white collar fights as a rickety base to build his career upon.
His debut on September 16th 2011 against Robin Deakin (1-34) at the Coronet Theatre in Elephant and Castle was a scrappy affair, resulting in a points win for Day, scored at 39-37 by referee, Ken Curtis.
Since then, ‘The Entertainer’, originally from Teignmouth in Devon, has gone on to reach nine fights unbeaten, picking up the International Masters and Southern Area super-lightweight titles with two consecutive first round stoppages.
He has achieved this – in style, against the odds, with lengthy absences in between fights, and mostly without a coach!
The previous few fights saw him as part of Alec Wilkey’s Poplar gym which boasts the likes of Prizefighter finalist and former Southern Area champion, Danny ‘Cassius’ Connor and the promising undefeated Prizefighter winner, Johnny Coyle.
The stint at Wilkey’s Lansbury ABC was for bouts seven and eight only. The first result was a hard-fought points win against Ben Kneller (0-1-0) in December 2012 after over 14 months out.
He followed that up quickly with a first round knockout of unbeaten Latvian, Ilja Sovdra (0-2) three months later to scoop up his first title – the International Masters Bronze super-lightweight strap.
Presently, Day is with RJ’s Gym in Essex headed by top coach, Rod Julian.
The primary fight working together saw Day back to his best with his self-assured, elusive style that worked so well for him to be able stop Ryan Taylor (10-5-1) without even getting hit once in the first round of their scheduled 10-round championship contest, becoming the first Southern Area champion for RJ’s emerging team.
Next, Day takes on the experienced, aggressive Floyd Moore, 25-years-old from Portsmouth, for his Southern Area lightweight strap, having given up the super-lightweight version he won in December last year.
(Via Goodwin Boxing)
Bizarrely, the London gym owner’s last three opponents have a combined record of 12-6-1 and his next opponent on March 5th at London’s York Hall boasts the exact same record of 12-6-1, also.
Perhaps due to his lack of amateur pedigree, the unorthodox style, his advanced age, but most likely a combination of all three of those reasons, the 37-year-old has struggled to receive anything apart from negative feedback from many critics and observers since the beginning of his career.
As he enters into his 10th professional contest next weekend in a bid to become a two-weight Southern Area champion, Day responded to the effect that the faultfinders have on him:
“To me, it’s not important, as long as you recognise yourself, it doesn’t matter. I’m not concerned about them; I’m just concerned about me. It’s been the same reaction every time even when I win; I’d have to swim to the moon or walk on water to get any credit.”
The press conference for the show last week was awash with probing reporters and for the first time in his five-year-long career, Day could finally see the tables beginning to turn, receiving the credit he protractedly deserves.
The Devonian explained:
“Steve Goodwin was really flattering and said that mine was a Cinderella story and he was really praising of me, which was really nice. There’s a lot of people out there giving me recognition now, finally. My age wasn’t even mentioned at the press conference as it would be so stupid to keep going on about it.”
“Floyd looks older than me and he goes up in weight after fights, I am the fittest man I know, I don’t know anyone fitter than me. It’s embarrassing for other fighters talking about my age because I’m beating them, I feel like saying, ‘What’s wrong with you lot?! Someone try and beat me!’”
Day took part with trainer, Rod Julian in a head-to-head interview with forthcoming ring rival, Floyd Moore and his trainer, Michael Ballingall just days ago hosted by New Age Boxing writer, Martin Theobald.
Ballingall, from Portsmouth, very humbly said to Day in the opening minutes:
“I’ve got a lot of respect for you; from where you’ve come from, you’ve come a hell of a long way, so fair play to you.”
The soon-to-be-warring pair dutifully shook hands in what was a very calm and civil confrontation ahead of this Saturday’s eagerly-awaited showdown in the East End of London.
Day went on to reply to the recurring comments on his performance against Ben Kneller where he scraped a win by just a single point:
“People talk about the Ben Kneller fight but he got to me because I was trying a style that didn’t suit me. I was doing what I got told to, ‘get into the centre of the ring and hold your ground. It was also having 16 months out as well; I was out for a long time which didn’t help much.”
“In round five, I dropped my hands and didn’t get hit. If people think I’ll just be holding my ground in the centre of the ring then they’re wrong, that wasn’t even me in that fight.”
The 37-year-old lightweight has previously taken inspiration from friend, Darren Hamilton who won the coveted Lonsdale belt aged 34 from Ashley Theophane who takes on Adrien Broner for his WBA Super World super-lightweight title on April 1st.
Owner of the Ringtone Boxing Gym in Central London, Day plans to emulate Hamilton and has his sights set on the prestigious Lonsdale belt.
“It’s positive now, people know I’ve had a fucked up life and it’s been widely reported so that’s done. There’s light at the end of the tunnel but it won’t be fully light until I’m British champion.”
He concluded with his latest saying:
“Bless the struggle.”
Ben Day v Floyd Moore takes place on the action-packed show titled, ‘Crunch Time’, which also features a whopping 17 fights in total including eight promising unbeaten prospects and exciting young debutants in action.
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