Sandy Ryan splits from trainer
WBO welterweight world champion Sandy Ryan has split with trainer Clifton Mitchell, ending an almost 18-year relationship, following her controversial draw with Jessica McCaskill in Orlando, Florida, last year.
Former British and European title contender Clifton Mitchell was in the corner when Ryan was denied a career-defining win, with Mark Streisand’s scorecard of 97-93 in favour of McCaskill thrown into disrepute by the boxing fraternity.
But the Derby-born fighter has decided to remain stateside, as she prepares for her WBO welterweight title defence against Terri Harper in Sheffield on March 23.
In a Boxing King Media interview, Mitchell said: “Sandy wants to train in Las Vegas with the sun and the heat, and I’m not going.
“I’ve got a gym full of fighters and I’m not spending eight to ten weeks out of the gym for the money that I’m on; it’s not financially viable.
“Fair play to her; it’s her career and I don’t want her to think that anyone is holding her back.”
The fight against Harper will take place on the undercard of Dalton Smith vs Jose Zepeda on DAZN.
Harper also comes off a draw, failing to pinch two titles up at super welterweight against boxing veteran Cecilia Braekhus last year.
Now, she returns to the Sheffield Arena at a more natural weight, but Mitchell still backs his former fighter to win comfortably.
He said: “From what I saw in sparring, it won’t be a 50/50 fight.
“I want Sandy to win, she’s Derby – up the Rams.”
With Ryan seemingly having got the better of Harper in the gym, according to Mitchell, it is unusual that Harper’s trainer and manager Stefy Bull was confident enough to agree to the fight.
Mitchell suggested that it could be because he is no longer working with her.