MEMOIRS OF AN MC – 2
Wales’ best MC has been on a journey this weekend. Here, in his second column for BoxingWales, Ricky Wright reveals what happened on his travels in Scotland… “A couple of weeks ago I got the phone call from top Scottish MC Craig Stephen asking could I cover a show for him up in Scotland. The thought of driving to Scotland was daunting, so my eyes lit up when he said the promoters were willing to pay for my flights and accommodation, I accepted the job. The reason Craig could not do the event was because he had bigger fish to fry, he was booked by Barry McGuigan to MC the world title eliminator in Belfast between Carl “The Jackal” Frampton versus Hugo Cazares live at the Odyssey Arena on BoxNation TV. The event in Scotland was a small amateur boxing show on the outskirts of Glasgow at the Tudor hotel in a town called Airdrie. It was an annual event promoted by the Freemasons to raise money in aid of the Yorkhill Children’s Foundation. Craig has been their MC since the beginning and doesn’t like missing this one so I was honoured he asked me. I got to Bristol airport and the entire Edinburgh rugby team were there, I spotted Tim Visser, David Denton and Ross Ford, epic. I checked in on Facebook, as you do, and instantaneously got a phone call from Lewis Long who was also waiting to board a flight. I met up with Lew who was with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) prodigy Ash Williams, Ash’s girlfriend Katie and another lad called Ben. They were heading to Rome to compete in the European BJJ Championships. It was good to have a catch up before they set off. I boarded my flight with the most smug look on my face, I was actually being flown out to another country (technically) to do the job I love. I kept that smug look up all the to Glasgow. I packed light with only my Skyroll as carryon luggage. Not having to wait for your bags to arrive at the end was awesome, just straight through to the taxi ranks. My taxi driver had the thickest Glaswegian accent, the first thing he asked was who was looking after my sheep while I was away… brilliant banter. He was a big fan of MTV’s the Valleys, it’s good to know that South Wales is being represented so well in other parts of the world! On the way to Airdrie he drove me past Celtic Park, as a Celtic fan himself he was very proud of the view on the horizon. I asked him about the Ibrox and his reply was “you mean castle grayskull? Not a rangers fan are you?” If i had answered yes, there’s a chance I would of got ejected from the cab. I arrived at the Tudor hotel where I was met by event organiser Allan Logan, he paid the driver and invited me in to the hotel. I sat around the table with his family as they finished up their lunch, he offered me a drink, I asked for apple juice but then quickly changed my mind for an Iron Bru, the table let off a loud cheer. When in Scotland, do as the Scots do, eh? After being shown to my room I unpacked, wrote my cue cards and got ready to rock and roll. Before the fights I introduced the head of the Freemasons into the ring. He welcomed everyone to the event then gave me an even warmer welcome, his very words were “This year we’ve spared no expense by flying over tonight’s MC from Wales, Mr Ricky Wright.” There was also a lovely paragraph written about me in the program. He continued to say grace before the pre fight meal arrived. I was expecting some prayer but instead the classic Robert Burns poem was read out…. “Some ha’e meat and can-na eat, And some ha’e none that want it, But we ha’e meat and we can eat, And so the Lord be thank-et.” After they finished their lavish feast the time had come for the fights, nine well matched amateur boxing matches to entertain the Freemasons in attendance. Some great talent on display and a glimpse in to the future of Scottish boxing, the future is bright. During the interval I, along with the rest of the officials were escorted to the restaurant where we were treated to a feast of our own, steak and vegetables in peppercorn sauce, yummy, could get used to this. While we were dining, the auction commenced in the ring. Some great prizes were up for grabs, lots of signed sports memorabilia, weekends away and concert tickets. I later learned that they had raised over £17,000 for charity. God bless the Freemasons. After the event I went up to my room and crashed straight away, it was a long day and I was spent. I wish I had the stamina to stay up with the Scots and sink a few jars. I’m not the party animal I used to be. The next day I joined everyone for a full Scottish breakfast. Haggis, flat sausage tatti-scones, bacon, black pudding, tomato and eggs, yes I’ve been treated well. The Scots sure know how to eat. I caught the train back to Glasgow and as I had a while until my flight I got to explore the city. First things first, get my girlfriend a present. Back in the summer last year, American MC Cyrus Fees had an event in Cardiff and me and Becky helped him pick up a present for his other half. He liked to get her gifts related to the country he visited, so a Welsh love spoon for the wife and a fluffy sheep for his newborn. A tradition that I have now adopted. Becky has Scottish heritage, her grandfather is a member of the Crawford Clan and was born in Scotland before he moved to Portsmouth as a young boy. I picked her up a keyring and a fridge magnet branded in the Crawford tartan and motto. I also got her another fridge magnet of a highland cow simply because I like highland cows, I named it Morag. I explored the city some more and visited the Glasgow natural history museum and gallery purely because I couldn’t find the epic transport museum I’d heard all about. I had fun there sending a bunch of awkward snap chats to people using the exhibitions as props. I apologise to anyone who received them, unless you found them funny which I’m sure you did, because they were hilarious. I got a phone call around mid day from Craig Stephen who had just got back from Belfast, he had a bit of time to kill before he moved onto his second event of the weekend so invited me for a coffee. He picked me up and we headed to Starbucks. He had an brilliant week in Belfast where his duties were to MC the open work outs, the press conference, the weigh-ins and of course, the fights. I loved hearing all about it, a great insight into what I could be doing one day if i keep putting in the hard work. Craig also gave me valuable advice and shared some secrets of the trade. He dropped me off at the airport, we took a cheeky selfie then said goodbye. I boarded my plane back to Bristol and that smug look on my face had returned. A special thanks to Craig for making everything happen and to Allen Logan, Lillian Patterson and the rest of the family for the great hospitality shown in Airdrie.” To follow the travels of MC Ricky Wright, visit www.RickyWrightMC.co.uk.