Updated: Aug 6, 2019
by Sean Bastow
Saturday night marks the third professional outing of Ben 'The Machine' Ridings as he faces veteran Kevin McCauley at the Village Hotel in Bury.
Promoted by Kieran Farrell, the twenty-one-year old local lad, is looking to continue the impressive start to his career in front of his home town fans.
Ben turned professional last September after competing in the amateur scene which consisted of sixteen fights and three North West Regional title. His lack of amateur experience hasn't knocked his confidence ahead of Saturday,
"I didn't have a lot of amateur experience in comparison to most lads that turn pro, I have used my first two pro fights as a starting point to get the experience I need to progress through my career, and Saturday will be no different".
In his first professional outing Ridings took on well-known journeyman Lewis "Poochi" Van Poestch, a fighter that has been known to cause an upset or two on the road. Ridings controlled the fight at range and picked up a 40-36 points victory and producing an impressive debut.
"I enjoyed making my pro debut on what was packed house in Bolton. I felt in control through the fight, but understand that I got caught a couple of times on the way inside, so I wanted to make sure I learnt from that".
In Ridings next outing, he took on Zygimantas Butkevicius, and although this also ended in a points victory, Ben was quick to point out that he was not as quick to engage with his opponent due to the struggle of making the weight comfortably
"Going in to the second fight I felt really drained, it was the first time that I had to drop quite a bit of weight in such a short space of time so although I knew I could beat this guy, I was still cautious of the fact I was tiring quicker than normal so I didn't want to take any chances"
It is quite common for a fighter at such a young age - Ridings is only twenty one - to learn on the job, and from speaking to Ben it was evident that he is as dedicated and ready to learn and grow as a fighter; evident in the willingness to admit when things have not gone to plan.
After the first two fights, Ridings has now decided to adopt a more inside fighting style, something he feels is much more suited to him as a fighter and a style his trainer and manager Kieran Farrell was renowned for in his fighting days.
"For this next fight everything has been perfect for me, the weight, the training and adapting to becoming more of an inside fighter".
"I have been working hard with Kieran in the gym to focus on becoming comfortable with the style and the sparring has really helped, guys like Daryl Sharp and Ben Thomas who are both tough fighters have really helped me adapt".
Last Saturday saw Kieran Farrell bring his fighters to The Millgate shopping centre in Ben's hometown of Bury, an experience he was all too grateful for.
"I really enjoyed the public workout, the fact I used to work in the shops here and seen faces that I recognise was an amazing experience for me at such an early stage of my career, credit has to go to Kieran for putting these events on for us fighters on the small hall scene".
"I am really looking forward to fighting in front of my hometown nothing gets better than being able to put on a show for all the fans, friends and family that come out to support me"
Ben's third professional fight takes place Saturday 11th May at the Village Hotel, Bury. Tickets can be purchased from Kieran Farrell Promotions