PRIZEFIGHTER RESERVE PACE: I JUST NEED A BIT OF LUCK

Photo by Ciaran Gibbons

Talbot Green’s Pace now relies on either a pull out from another fighter or a circumstance on the night that rules another entrant out and the 19-year-old takes inspiration from a similar example close to home. He said, “It’s boxing and everything can depend on a bit of luck. Look at Steve Robinson when he had his world title fight – he was a late replacement and he got his luck, being in the right place at the right time and I could be close to mine now.” Last week BoxingWales.com started a Twitter campaign to get Pace included in Prizefighter that was quickly backed by not only the Welsh boxing online community but champions Frankie Gavin and Ryan Walsh too. A thankful Pace was grateful for the support, he said, “I wasn’t really expecting anything to come of it. I was always hoping because at the end of the day, I want to fight all of the top boys and hopefully beat them. I think I can beat them because I train so hard and that’s what it takes.” “They’re great guys (Gavin and Walsh), when I’ve travelled to spar them they’ve treated me really nice. I’m grateful for their support and everyone elses support and if I get a chance I won’t let anyone down, I’ll make them proud.” Prizefighter is a unique platform that gives boxers a breakthrough profile boost live on Sky Sports and Pace believes a successful performance in the tournament could change his career. He explained, “It would mean I could train even more and I’ll get the same opportunities as the rest of these boys so I can keep building and building on my skills and my fitness and I’d be a much better boxer. I don’t want favours, I just want the same opportunities.” “I’m always fit and always training hard. I’ve got a full time job but I make sure I train twice a day to keep myself really fit, I have to. I’ll train before work or after, whenever I can really because to be where I want to be then I have to do it.” Having fought most of his fights at welterweight, Pace’s career best win came over the previously 4-0 prospect Francis Luke Robinson at lightweight – a weight where his increased size is coupled with his physically imposing style that should make life hard for lots of lightweights in Prizefighter’s three-round format. Pace reflected on the move down in weight, saying, “It’s no issue, making weight is easy. When I’ve been at welterweight it’s just been too heavy for me but I’ve come down a weight and I’ll stay here for a few years.” “It means I’ve got to keep my weight down between fights but I make lightweight fine and I am quite big for a lightweight. If I get in the ring with anyone at Prizefighter, they’ll be really surprised at my size.” After beating journeyman Liam Griffiths on points over four rounds in the Rhondda last week, Pace’s record now stands at a misleading 3-4 – his losses coming in hard fought fights as the away boxer against some top class prospects like Lewis Rees and Ronnie Heffron. Pace explained his rationale behind taking such difficult fights so early in his career, he said, “If I didn’t take the hard fights then I wouldn’t get recognised like I am at the moment. You get some boys who are 10-0 and no-one knows them because they’ve not fought anyone but I’ve built up my reputation a bit and now I can start building on it and getting my wins up.” “I wanted to push it and see if I could do it against them. I know they’re tough boys, I was the away fighter and none of them really hurt me.” It’s easy to forget that in the amateurs Pace defeated the now undefeated professionals Lance Sheehan (5-0, 1KO) and Dale Evans (3-0-1, 3KO) on his way to a Welsh ABA senior finals appearance in March 2011 – losing on points to Fred Evans who went on to win an Olympic silver medal this summer. Tony Pace just needs a chance and if he gets the tiny bit of luck he needs at next Saturday’s Prizefighter then it’s the perfect opportunity that he deserves.

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