A PROFESSIONAL boxer is passing on his skills to the next generation of fighters, after going back to his roots.

Richie Gray, 27, turned pro last year and has a perfect record from his four fights to date.

And the former Woodlands School pupil is bidding to pass on what he has learned to more enthusiastic and budding boxers.

Gray, from Brentwood, visits the school once a week to talk about his experiences and lead sessions with current pupils.

And he says he is thoroughly enjoying playing a role in their lives.

“I do work in the school once a week on a Wednesday, and I really enjoy it,” he said.

“I went there six months ago to give a presentation and the school invited me back. They asked if I could work with some of the pupils and I was happy to do so.

“The ones I teach are very keen to learn,” he added.

“I want to help build their self-esteem and confidence. Some of these guys need a push and I want to help get them where they want to be.

“It was good to speak to some of the school’s elite boxers as well.

“I see a lot of myself in these guys.”

The school, in Basildon, seems to have a habit of producing talented fighters, following the recent success of Alby Hill.

The 13-year-old from Pitsea was named National Schoolboy Champion and Three Nations School Champion.

And Gray admits the youngster’s achievements are impressive.

“Alby’s is a massive achievement,” he said.

“It will be a memory that stays with him forever. I remember when I was competing in amateur championships, I had some of the best memories of my life.

“He has a very bright future.”

Gray is still in the infancy of his professional career, but says he has been pleased with his first four fights, which have included two knockouts.

And the middleweight said, following his last win in March, he is ready to get back into the ring.

“I am over a year into my professional deal now and I have won all my fights,” he said.

“I have had a gap recently but am back in training now and will be back fighting in October with a view to a title fight after that.”