Godding: 'I feel like the forgotten man'
Paul Zanon catches up with Bolton super welterweight Rick Godding and finds him determined to win the recognition he feels he has missed out on to date ...
Rick Godding is one of those names you’ve heard in boxing. You’ve probably even seen him fight a few times, but just can’t put your finger on where or against who. So how is it that the Bolton super welterweight - who possesses an almost unblemished record of 25 fights, one loss and one draw - is relatively unknown?
Boxing Monthly caught up with the affable Godding to establish the status quo of his career path and his immediate plans in the square ring. Godding was just catching his breath as he told me, "Is ten minutes okay? I’ve just finished working with a client and have another client waiting to go." Godding was referring to a private client at his successful gym, Tricky’s, based in Bolton, which not only addresses fitness, but is also an amateur boxing club.
Godding has never taken an easy route into anything. He’s willing to fight any opponent and always puts himself on the front line in order to secure a bout. Unfortunately, those intended bouts in recent times, like a flower out of season, never seem to bloom. Interestingly, it was actually the ‘front line,’ which acted as Godding’s major platform into boxing.
“When I was about 16 or 17, I stopped amateur boxing and went into the army. I started boxing in the army just doing a few exhibitions, then I entered the Army Championships and won that. I then got picked for the full army team, and served my last two years in Aldershot whilst on the team. In total, I did five years and saw active action in Iraq in 2003. I was also based in Cyprus for a couple of years.”
Now, aged 31, Godding is looking to fight for a title, which amazingly he’s never done in his 25-fight résumé. “We wanted to work our way up the right way," he explains. "We didn’t see something like a Masters belt as appealing. We wanted to go straight for English or British when we did challenge. I was working my way up and we got a few offers. We were offered Frankie Gavin for the British and we said yes, but then that never happened. There’s been a few like that.”
In the meantime, Godding was climbing his way up the rankings on the big stage. “I’d boxed Rafal Jackiewicz in Germany [on 10 November 2012] as chief support for the Wladimir Klitschko vs Mariusz Wach world title fight and then five months later I boxed Bradley Pryce on the undercard of Amir Khan vs [Julio] Diaz, in Sheffield. Everything was going well. I was ranked at No2 in Britain and everything seemed to be going well. Then the shoulder set me back. I was in that position to get the title shot, but then the injury scuppered my plans and I had to rebuild.
"I was only supposed to be going in for keyhole surgery in the front of my shoulder and I woke up with three holes on me where they’d had to go in deep to clean stuff up inside. There was tendon damage and all sorts. That was me done for two years.”
Down, but not out, Godding explained how the fire still burned to fight and how he came back against the odds.
“I couldn’t do much apart from a bit of running, even though I’d been advised not to do the running because you’re still moving your arms when you run and I needed full recovery. I was working at the time, doing a bit of building work, to keep busy, but also to keep a bit of money coming in.
"The moment I was fit enough to get back in the gym with [trainer] Karl [Ince], I was straight in. I trained for about 12 months before I could fight, but by that stage, I was in good condition, as I’d rebuilt the shoulder and got it to where I wanted it to be. It was a slow process unfortunately, and very frustrating, but at least I was able to box again.”
After clocking up a couple of victories against Robert Studzinkski and Adam Jones, with just three weeks' notice, Godding took on 'The Hellraiser’ powerhouse, Gary Corcoran in July 2015 and lost a unanimous points decision.
“In hindsight, I probably should have never took the fight because he’s a forward aggressive fighter and you’ve got to be fit when you fight someone like that," Godding reflects. "When I boxed him, no disrespect to Gary, but I felt I was the better boxer by far. But I just didn’t have it in the tank to keep up with the pace he was setting.”
Godding bounced back with two victories in 2016 - against Chris Jenkinson and Kevin McCauley - and finally there seemed to be some light at the end of the tunnel.
Or so it seemed.
“I was supposed to be fighting Craig Cunningham," Godding explains. "That was originally supposed to be September for a final eliminator [for the British title], then the board knocked it back for some reason, so it was changed to just an eliminator, to happen in October. Then it got changed to November, but he [Cunningham] went and took the Anthony Ogogo fight in between and now obviously he’s going to think about moving on to bigger things [after Cunningham produced a shock stoppage, defeating Ogogo in eight rounds]. It says we’re fighting on Boxrec in November, but trust me, we’re not.
"Where does this leave me? I feel like the forgotten man. I was supposed to fight Ben Hall for the English title, then he got the Carson Jones fight for the WBC International silver super welterweight title. So that’s another one that’s not on.
"I’ve spoke to [promoter] Steve [Wood] and said, if we do get this English title secured and we’re looking for an opponent, I would like to fight Corcoran again in a rematch. Hopefully he’d go for it, being an English title. He’s just come off a loss, I’d love the rematch – it’s a great opportunity for us to get back in the limelight.”
As the clock hits the ten-minute mark, Godding has to get back to his client at Tricky’s. Despite a rather gloomy few months, incredibly, he remains very upbeat.
He’s been let down a great deal by circumstances in recent months and years, but wants to be clear that he’s willing to fight anyone in the UK in his weight category.
Hopefully the Corcoran rematch can happen. It would be a natural crossroads decider for both men and could finally propel Godding back into the limelight, which he’s more than earned since turning professional in 2007.