Ricky Crotty back in action
He won the ABA championship and could have gone to this summer’s Commonwealth Games.
But for Ricky Crotty, family comes first.
He’s a father of three and says family commitments are behind his decision to ditch the vest and turn professional.
Crotty has inked a deal with London-based manager John Rooney and makes his paid debut at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Friday, April 25.
Last year, Crotty won the ABA light-heavyweight title, boxed for England in Sweden and amateur bosses invited him to train with the Great Britain squad.
“They wanted me to train in Sheffield three or four times a week,” said Crotty, from Royston in Cambridgeshire.
“But I’ve got a young family and it would have meant moving.
“I didn’t really want to do that and anyway, I’m getting older and wanted to turn professional before it’s too late.
“I would like to think I can win the British title in the next two or three years and take it from there.”
As a boy, Crotty trained with a future British champion.
His clubmates at Cheshunt Amateur Boxing Club included Billy-Joe Saunders and he’s set to box for the European middleweight title next having won British and Commonwealth honours.
“I trained with Billy-Joe for seven or eight years when we were amateurs,” said Crotty, “and we still spar each other now from time to time.
“It hurts a bit – but it brings me on.”
Like Saunders, Crotty also comes from a fighting family.
Big brother Billy was Frankie Gavin’s last opponent in the amateur ring – and kid brother George has been called up to the Great Britain Podium squad after winning a clutch of national titles.
As well as his ABA success, Ricky also won National Schools honours in his 57-bout amateur career (41 wins) with what he describes as his heavy-handed, in-your-face pressure-fighting style.
“I’m a thinking fighter,” he said, “but I like to come forward, I like to entertain the crowd.”
In the top-of-the-bill fight, Ahmet Patterson defends his Southern Area welterweight title against Adam Battle and Martin Lindsay, the former British featherweight champion, makes his comeback.