Parsons using pro platform to inspire others
Mikey Parsons is determined to use his professional career, however fleeting it may be, to inspire future generations of Bermudian boxers.
At the age of 40, Parsons has moved into the paid ranks and will make his professional debut on the Fight Night Champion undercard at Fairmont Southampton on Saturday, where he will face off against Canadian Daniel Roach.
Despite citing the likes of superstars Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, who are still fighting at the top level in their early 40s, Parsons is under no illusion about his own longevity among the professional ranks.
“When you reach a certain age, you have to be realistic,” Parsons said. “The likes of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have already been doing it for a long time at the elite level.
“Do I see myself trying to fight at a higher level and have big fights? If I'm honest with myself, no.
“I just want to put on a couple of professional fights in Bermuda to help pave the way for the future generations coming through, the likes of Adrian Roach and Lovintz Tota.
“I'm on my way out, but if I can give you several exciting fights then that's what I'm going to do. I don't see myself going too much further.”
Roach may be familiar to some Bermudian boxing fans, having lost to compatriot Andre Lambe by a unanimous decision as an amateur at CedarBridge Academy two years ago.
Parsons conceded to not learning a great deal about his opponent from that previous defeat, as he focuses on the required adjustments from making the transition from amateur to professional.
“There isn't really anything I can take from him fighting Andre,” he added. “I just have to adjust to what I need to do in the ring because that's what I do. It will be exciting to see what my opponent can bring to the table.
“It's obviously different from the amateur ranks, but it's very exciting to be making my professional debut in front of a home crowd.
“There has been little tweaks here and there, but the main has been my mindset. There's a need to be more switched on.
“That's not saying I was switched off as an amateur, but as a professional you have to give it your full attention and prepare for everything properly.
“That way if I'm not successful there will be no excuses that I wasn't focused properly.”
Parsons's journey into the professional ranks has been an unconventional and somewhat overdue one, having spent his early amateur years in England, where he won all eight of his bouts, before returning to Bermuda and turning his attention to football where he went on to feature for Bermuda Hogges and even earned one international cap.
Although his time in England helped fine tune his boxing skills, Parsons conceded little similarities to his time on the football pitch, particularly in terms of the greater vulnerability of being inside the ring.
“I had eight fights while out in England and won them all before coming back to Bermuda,” he added. “There's no style that I didn't see and that I couldn't adjust to so that really helps me inside the ring.
“When I came back to Bermuda, I started playing football a lot more because boxing wasn't on the rise as it is now.
“Boxing and football are totally different. Football is all about playing as part of the team and relying on your team-mates, but boxing is a very lonely sport.
“When you're on top, everybody is around you, but when you're at your lowest, it feels like it is just you.
“Boxing is a brutal sport, it can take one shot and your career is over.”