Turley: If I had lost, I’d probably have retired

Turley: If I had lost, I’d probably have retired

Cefn Fforest’s Robbie Turley (14-5, 3KO) says that his career was on the line in his British super-bantamweight title eliminator win against Jamie Speight (12-7, 1KO). Fortunately, the 28-year-old won on Friday and produced the best performance of his career to set up his dream of fighting for the Lord Lonsdale belt but it didn’t come without the most intense of pressures. Turley said, “This was just one of those fights that was either gunna end me or put me back where I should be. Thank God, it’s put me back there. “If I lost, I’d probably have retired. I trained so hard for this, done a lot of sparring and running. “You know, I’ve had times when I hated the game. Now, I’m back in love with it. It means everything, it was everything or nothing for me.” The victory, without losing a round, puts Turley in line to fight for the domestic crown next year. Liverpool’s James ‘Jazza’ Dickens (18-1, 6KO) and part-Welshman Josh Wale (17-6-2, 10KO) will soon meet for the vacant title and Turley doesn’t mind who wins. He said, “I think Jazza should beat him but any one of them, fine by me. It really doesn’t matter who I fight, I’ll train as hard as I can and bring back the British title, what I promised myself as a kid.” It all came together for Turley at Bristol’s City Academy as he showed off his full arsenal of long and short range counters, plus his usual elusive ducking and diving. While Turley winning on points was a foreseeable outcome before the fight, the manner of his dominance did raise an eyebrow amongst many, almost including himself. Turley said, “I thought he [Speight] was going to be a bit more skilled. What I’ve seen of him, I thought he was going to be similar to me, trying to be in and out and sharp. He was tougher than I thought but not as clever as I expected. It was wider than I thought it would be. “At times, my back was against the ropes and it might’ve looked like he was on me but he wasn’t hitting me and I was hitting him. I had the more technical stuff on the inside, too.” In March, Turley returned from a two year break from boxing, enforced by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) when he failed a routine brain scan, it came shortly after he added the Welsh and Celtic titles to his collection. On his comeback, the St Joseph’s Boxing Club member scored two quick wins before venturing to featherweight in a bid for revenge over Dai Davies, only to be stopped after eight rounds but he’s rational about the situation. Turley said, “I’m back where I left off at my best. I was at my best just as I had the break and bad news. I think it took me a little while to get back there, where I left off.” “Like I said, I run out of steam last time [against Davies] and the truth was, I couldn’t eat after the weigh-in. I just ran out, I trained hard but I couldn’t do it on the day.” “I trained hard this time, too but this is my weight, this is where I’m strong, at my best. “I haven’t done 10 rounds for a while but it wasn’t a question of could I do it – once you’ve done it once, you can do it again but it’s great to get it under my belt before I go for a 12 rounder next time for the British title.” Image by Sophie Merlo. Follow Sophie on Twitter at @Bristol_Tog or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sophiemerlophotography

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