LYNN — So far, so good for Lynn native Khiry Todd in his pro boxing career.
The Lynn English graduate has climbed the ladder as he makes a name for himself in the ring. Todd, 9-1, most recently made quick work of Alex Sandro Duarte in a first-round knockout at Everett’s Encore Casino in August.
“That was a big deal for me,” Todd, 28, said. “I sold a bunch of tickets and had a big crowd. I was excited about fighting so close to home. It was definitely my favorite venue of the ones I’ve fought in. I stopped him in the first round with body shots. I’m trying to keep that wave going of making statements when I fight.”
Now it’s on to the next challenge for Todd, who’ll square off against boxing veteran Rynell Griffin Saturday night at SportsZone in Derry, New Hampshire. Griffin, a southpaw from Nevada, will battle Todd in the latter’s first 8-round bout.
“It’s a necessary step toward doing what I want to do,” Todd said. “I’m the headline fight of the event. It says a lot that people want me to headline an event in my 11th fight. I have a lot of fans, a great fan base in Lynn. Starting to do 8-round and 10-round fights will put me in a position to fight for local titles, and that’s going to put me in a position to fight for bigger titles.”
Todd’s managed by Ryan Roach, nephew of longtime pro boxing trainer Freddie Roach. He trains at Tomasello’s Boxing Gym in Saugus under Joe Ricciardi’s watch. Todd and Ricciardi have worked together for five years.
“We have a good relationship,” Todd said. “What I like is (Ricciardi’s) honesty. He tells me the truth about the fights I should take and what’s best for my career. Sometimes I want to push it a little bit and move it too early. He keeps me grounded. We bounce ideas off each other.”
His training regimen consists of a balance between cardio and ring work. Todd runs five miles four days a week and hits the gym five days a week. His ring training includes sparring, footwork, head movement, handwork and mental strength/stamina, to name a few.
“I spar eight rounds all the time,” Todd said. “I run consistently. The fight’s easy, the training’s the hard part. I train with 16 ounce gloves and fight with eight ounce gloves. If (Saturday’s fight) goes eight rounds, it goes eight rounds. But I’m not looking to go eight rounds. I’m looking to end it early.”
From the outside looking in, it might seem as though Todd has the upperhand Saturday. Griffin, 37, has dropped his last 12 fights and stands at 8-41-2. But Todd isn’t looking past him.
“At this phase in the game, it’s just the learning process,” Todd said. “It’s my 11th pro fight. Every fight counts because it’s still the learning stage. My last opponent was a 14-7 guy with 11 knockouts. The records don’t matter.
“I can’t underestimate him. He might be tired of losing and he’ll come prepared.”
If there’s one thing Todd can count on Saturday, it’s his support from hometown fans. It’s far from unusual to see Lynn-heavy crowds when Todd steps into the ring. That support, Todd said, is much appreciated.
“It feels good to have this city backing me up,” Todd said. “I think if boxing was a little more popular, it might be better. But it’s hard. Boxing can be sort of an underground thing. I try to do positive things around the city. The love’s coming back to me. The support has been good so far.”