By Jonny Stapleton
Ray Ginley makes his professional bow in Belfast on February 3 and is planning on being the jewel in Emerald Promotions crown in 2012.
The noted amateur decision to go pro was two fold. Considerable success sparring paid fighters in England and the fact unlike the Olympic torch his Olympic dream was extinguished early this year prompted him to ditch the vest and the head gear.
Ginley’s first outing will be against journey man James Tucker , who is no stranger to Irish foes having fought Robbie Long, Darren Cruise and Paddy McDonagh , in the Emerald Road House and brings the kind of power he claims stopped 40 of his 70 amateur opponents.
“I decided to go pro when I went over to England with my brother Mark(who also appears on the bill) to spar in London. I sparred some decent British fighters and gave them all they wanted and more. I also dropped a few of them an that’s when the promoters started showing a lot of interest in me.
“I always wanted to box in the Olympics. The Commonwealth Youth games is coming up and I never got picked for them even though I was Ulster Senior Champion and have never been beaten in Northern Ireland. That made my mind up and I turned over.”
Ginley will work with the majority of the Emerald Stable in Paul and Sean McCullough’s gym and he claims the talent and work ethic in the Belfast based gym has already helped the transition.
“I am boxing under Paul and Sean McCullough. They have done a lot of work with me helping me change into a professional boxer. Also being in the gym with the likes of Willie Casey, my brother, The Wolf Levan and the rest of the lads has helped.”
The fighter with 7 various Ulster titles sung off the world champion hymn sheet and has targeted the top before he retires. However he plans to take it one step at a time and he has targeted the Irish title as his first professional prise.
“I am really exited. Being a professional fighter was always a dream. I have always wanted to be a world champion and with the right people behind me and a bit of luck anything is possible. I work hard. For now I just want to show the work I have put in in my first outing. The short term goal would be to win the Irish title, then British and European. However that is all in the future I have a few fights in front of me before I achieve at that level.”