After a five-year, stop-start career as a novice pro, Liverpool’s Lee Boyce is hoping to finish his career with a win on the undercard of the Robbie Davies jnr v Michal Syrowatka WBA International super-lightweight title clash at the Liverpool Convention Centre on 31 March.
After a short amateur career with Kirkby ABC – followed by a number of appearances on unlicensed shows – the then 30-year old joiner turned pro with Danny Kelly and Sean Trodden at Birkenhead Venture in 2013 and has won four, lost one and drawn one of his six paid contests to date.
Now 34, the single Dad of two is looking to end his boxing career with a win after admitting that his fighting ambitions never lay further than the next contest.
He said: ”Yes, March 31st will be my last fight and I’m hoping to win, not only because its my last one but also for myself, my friends and family – the people who have followed me throughout my career. I want to give them one last night out and hopefully they will have a good time, see me win and leave the sport with pride really.”
Boyce admits his approach to boxing was arguably more realistic than most – he never contemplated a title of any kind – and he aims to leave the sport with the same attitude that he entered it; on his own terms.
He said: “When I turned over I did so for myself, no-one else. I only ever wanted to have one fight – to say that I had had a go at being a pro – but then I lost that and was gutted. I broke my nose, got two back eyes, felt really down but I took some time out and then came back, got a win, then a few more and that’s been good enough for me. More than good enough.
“I never thought I would have achieved that let alone win a title or anything – I just never had the talent – but I’ve proved I could have a go and now it’s time to finish.”
With a young son and daughter to bring up, constraints on his time and focus have also impacted Boyce’s decision to retire, but he will continue to be involved in the sport through coaching and nurturing future talent with long-time trainer, friend and confidante, Scottie Hamilton.
“I’m full time on the tools so finding time to work, train and look after Jack and Olivia is hard. I never had any expectations of going full time as I wasn’t good enough really, I wouldn’t have been able to get the financial backing, but I’m more than happy with what I have achieved and now I can devote more time to my family and training others with Scottie. He’s been with me from my second fight and he’s fantastic trainer – he will train a British champion one day I’m sure. I’ve done my badges and I’m looking forward to the next stage of my life although on 31 March I hope to go out with a bang!”
The show’s promoter – in association with Kieran Farrell – Neil Marsh, said: “Lee is as genuine as they come, a local lad who always gives his all. I hope his many fans give him the send off he deserves. He’s been a great pro and a credit to the sport. It should be a great night.”
With a mix of local talent and emerging prospects, the bill also features Liverpool’s Brian Phillips, as well as Warrington pair Danny Craven and Courtney Chadwick, Southport’s Jake Barton, St Helens’ Rob Beech, Ellesmere Port’s highly ranked Mason Cartwright and undefeated London super-middleweight, Lerrone Richards.
Tickets, priced at £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 (VIP) – plus booking fee – for Barton’s next fight at Liverpool’s BT Convention Centre (The Auditorium) on Saturday 31 March, are available from 0344 8000 400 and the Liverpool Echo Arena website http://www.echoarena.com/whats-on/a-night-of-championship-boxing/ Alternatively they can also be bought from the boxer himself on twitter @LeeBoyceeLaa.