Ridings ready to roll at Ultimate Boxxer

Ben Ridings will be fighting on April 3 if the event gets the go ahead: Pic: Ben Ridings

Away from the big money deals with Eddie Hearn or Frank Warren there are talented boxers going largely unnoticed on the local scene.

However, a one-night tournament called the Ultimate Boxxer is giving these diamonds in the rough a chance to make a name for themselves on a big stage.

One of these super middleweight participants is Ben Ridings, 22, from Bury, who despite his relative lack of experience is set to be the boxer with the most fans who are sure to vocally back their man to the hilt come April 3.

For Ridings, boxing was not his only source of income, working in a care home has helped him appreciate his life a lot more.

“I actually got laid off from my job in a care home, I do some aspects of care, I mainly work with people with like dementia.

“I’ve built a really good relationship with all the old people and it makes you really appreciate life a lot more.”

Despite the disappointment of being let go from his job, Ridings has found himself able to concentrate solely on preparing for fight night.

“Every now and again I’ll do a bit of labour work if it’s available with my father, but it’s nothing permanent.

“All I’m doing right now is knuckling down and concentrating on these five weeks of training putting my all into it and then just going from there.”

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With the Ultimate Boxxer being a one-night tournament, where opponents only find out who they are fighting the day before the tournament in a random draw, Ben doesn’t anticipate the lack of knowledge on the opponent being an issue.

“I feel good about it to be honest because I feel like if I knew already, I would overthink my opponent too much, whereas I find out the day before it’s much more like, let’s do this and go and fight.

“I find it much more exciting personally.”

Despite being seen as an underdog, Ben feels he has a good chance on the night and only sees two of the other competitors being a threat to him.

“I don’t really think anyone in there can trouble me, the only people I think will give me a tough, tough fight is Mark Jeffers and probably Diego Costa, because he’s such a big hitter.

“The others…they don’t really faze me.”

Ben Ridings Boxing

The Ultimate Boxxer will be Ben’s first venture on to TV – it is being shown live on BT Sport – and he is preparing for the unknown.

Because I’ve never been under that sort of pressure before I don’t know, I think I’ll be alright because it takes me a minute to warm into the fight.

“I get hit and feel the atmosphere and the adrenaline gets pumping and I’m ready to go, so I’d say I thrive under it but who knows, we’ll have to see how I am on the night.

“I’m excited for it.”

With Ben being from Bury he will be the hometown fighter in Manchester and he anticipates a big and loud following.

“The people I’m getting to this event, it’s going to be a rowdy crowd put it that way.

“Hearing my name, walking out and all the lights are on you then, yeah it’s definitely going to help me thrive being the underdog in the competition, because I am the underdog out of the whole competition.”

Ben Ridings vs Kevin McCauley

Ridings does acknowledge that his opponents dwarf his relative lack of experience.

“I’m the youngest there, I’m only 3-0, the rest have had experience or they have the name – one of them is Chris Eubank’s son, so he’s in it, we’ve got a Love Island star (Idris Virgo).

“I’m just a local lad from Manchester trying to make it so I have no pressure on me coming into this.”

The Ultimate Boxxer is a huge chance for a boxer to make a big name for himself, on a big stage on BT Sport and for Ben Ridings, a big win in the tournament will make the world of difference to his career.