Ahead of Ricky Rowlands’ professional debut, BoxingWales spoke to the New Tredegar based welterweight about his decorated amateur career and decision to turn professional. ______________________________________ BoxingWales: When did you begin boxing? Ricky Rowlands: I began boxing at the age of 5 in Bargoed Amateur Boxing Club with Malcolm and Dean Webb. BW: What are your first boxing memories? RR: My first boxing memories are my first fight. I just went out there swinging for the three rounds but I got the win. BW: How would you describe your style? RR: I would describe my style as a box-fighter, I can box on the back foot just as effective as going forward. BW: Did you watch any boxers and base yourself on that or did your style come naturally? RR: I used to watch a lot of Ricky Hatton. So yeah, I liked how aggressive he was. BW: What were your full achievements as an amateur? RR: As an amateur I won seven Welsh titles, two British titles and a Multi-Nations silver. I represented Wales and boxed in many internationals. For example; Wales v France , the Brandenburg Cup in Germany, Youth World Championships in Yereven where I lose a close decision to an Armenian who went to win the silver medalist. All together, I had around 53 fights and won around 45. BW: Were you happy with what you achieved as an amateur or was there something you didn’t do that you wanted to? RR: I was very happy with what I achieved as an amateur, I got to travel the world and get loads of experience. BW: Why didn’t you stay as an amateur until the Commonwealth Games? RR: It was a long story really. I was in the Welsh squad for nine years and was starting to dislike squad weekends. So, I thought it was time for a change. To be honest, I just fancied a change and started to dislike squad weekends. BW: With the exception of Fred Evans, the 69KG weight division has been wide open and there for the taking. Did that not tempt you to stay amateur? RR: Yes, I was very tempted to stay and try to get in the squad for Commonwealth Games. As I’ve said, I just needed a change to give me the extra boost. BW: Do you think you might regret not staying amateur when the Commonwealth Games are on TV? RR: I might or I might not regret it when all the lads are on TV in a big competition. We will just have to wait and see, I guess. BW: When will you go professional? How has your preparation been? RR: I have signed a professional contract but I am going to start getting my medicals and scans done in the next few weeks.Preparation has been very good, I’m adapting and learning the pro style. I’ve enjoyed it. BW: How is professional boxing training different to amateur boxing training? RR: Amateur training is different to professional training. As a professional, it’s more about finding the correct angles and not wasting shots or energy, amateur boxing is more point picking and constant movement. BW: Why did you decide to go professional with Jamie Arthur? RR: I went over sparring whilst I was still amateur and liked the way Jamie focused on the technical stuff and not just fitness. Also, he has been at a high level fighting himself so he knows his stuff. BW: What are your professional career aims? RR: I have plenty of time as I’m only 19. Obviously every boxer aims to be a world champion and I’m no different but I’ll just take it one step at a time.

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