There comes a time in every boxer's career when a decision has to be made on when to step up and face some major challenges.
For Ryan Martin (22-0-0, 12KOs) that time seems to be now. Known as “Blue Chip” due to being tabbed for big achievements since his amateur days, Martin is now well established as a pro and is about to face the biggest test of his career as he looks to make a name for himself in a new weight class.
Having decided to leave the 135lb division behind “Blue Chip” is now campaigning at 140lbs and has taken a place in the light-welterweight World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) tournament. In less than two weeks Martin will be in Scotland facing off against Josh Taylor in what looks to be a tasty quarter-final matchup.
Time then to learn some more about the Abel Sanchez trained American boxer and hear some of his thoughts about that upcoming away day against number two seed Taylor.
CM: Hi Ryan, can you introduce yourself to the NY FIGHTS readers – where are you from, when did you start boxing, what's your fighting style?
RM: I was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I'm now based in LA but I always go back to visit my family and friends. I started boxing aged seven at one of the local gyms in Chattanooga. I'm a boxer/puncher, that's the best description of my style.
CM: You had a successful amateur career before turning pro in 2013. How well did that experience prepare you for professional boxing and what were the main differences you noticed between the two codes in your early pro bouts?
RM: My amateur career prepared me very well for turning professional. It served me for always continuing to learn under Abel at Big Bear. I prefer professional boxing as the longer fights allow me more time to use my skillset.
CM: Looking at your career progression it seems like you and your team decided to move up to the 140lb division earlier this year. What was the thought process behind that? Was 135 just too difficult to make? How would you critique your two performances as a 140lb fighter?
RM: I grew out of 135 and am much more natural and strong at 140. I'm very happy with my two performances at 140 but I'm always looking for improvement.
CM: This leads nicely to my next question. You are part of the WBSS 140lb tournament. How did that come about? What were your feelings when that opportunity presented itself?
RM: I first learned about the WBSS interest from my team and we all agreed it was a great opportunity to me. I'm new at this weight class so the plan is to take it one fight at a time and work my way to the top.
CM: Of course nothing's going to be easy in the WBSS and you have a tough assignment, travelling to Scotland to face fellow unbeaten rising star Josh Taylor. Any initial thoughts on Taylor?
RM: It's just another ring. I need to go there and do what I do best. Showcase my skillset and come out victorious. He's a good fighter, good boxer but nothing overwhelming. My skillset matches him very well, I'm faster and just as strong as him. I have watched a few of his fights. He fights in spurts and controls the ring. He's a very, very good boxer so I have to disrupt his rhythm.
CM: So for your first professional bout outside of North America will you be drawing on that previously mentioned amateur experience of being the ‘away' boxer?
RM: Being on the road for this will be just like being back in the amateur days. This is just a bigger platform and a longer flight. Travelling there won't affect me. It's an important fight and he has home advantage but I'm ready.
CM: Finally, how is your training camp going so far for the November 3
date? Any tactical stuff you've been working on that you can tell us about here? Failing that what can boxing fans expect to see from you on Nov. 3rd
RM: I'm working on facing a left hander, staying sharp and patient and landing the right punches at the right time. As for what to expect – expect an aggressive lion.