DEAN Ryder is hoping to follow in his big brother’s footsteps by realising his dream of becoming a professional boxer.
The Thurso fighter is preparing for the Scottish Amateur Boxing Championships where he will be competing in the 69kg division.
He is confident that with the help of older brother Chris, who turned professional this year, he can prove he can pack a punch in the national amateur boxing scene.
To prepare for the national championships, the 23-year-old will take part in an exhibition bout in Inverness on Saturday, October 7.
Dean competed in the novice section of the championships last year but feels he is in much better condition to make more of an impact in the ring. “I feel more prepared for the championships this year,” he said. “Last year, going into the ring and finding out what it was all about, I realised I wasn’t anywhere near where I needed to be.
“But it was a good test to find out about how hard and how far I needed to push myself.
“I have been training really hard in preparation for these championships and doing as much as I can possibly do.
“As a result my coach and my brother have said they have seen a huge improvement in my boxing skills and everyone is confident I can do well.”Dean is taking a lot of inspiration from his brother Chris who made a big statement when he was won his first pro fight in Aberdeen last month.
As well as taking part in sparring sessions with him, he travels down with Chris to Inverness Amateur Boxing Club where they are both coached by Laurie Redfern.
He also keeps in top condition by training at Thurso Gym to maintain his fitness levels.
He said he is learning a lot from Chris who is giving him guidance and advice to make his way up the Scottish boxing ranks. “I look up to my brother as my idol in boxing,” he said. “He is an amazing fighter and I want to fight the way that he does.
“His skills and the way he moves is incredible. He is pushing me to gain the same skills and abilities that he has.”
Dean emigrated to Thurso from South Africa three years ago where he was a national black belt karate champion three years running before making the transition into boxing. Now he hopes he can make a name for himself at amateur level and one day eventually become professional.
“I want to become a professional boxer, but I will see where the road takes me.
“I am still at amateur level but have fighting experience from my karate background which I hope can help me.
“My main aim is to have a good boxing career where I can say have achieved a big number of wins and knockouts.”