By Xavier Porter
(May 7, 2020 – Brooklyn, NY)
A couple of years ago, it appeared that Ryan Martin was destined for greatness. The type of greatness where there were no foreseeable bumps in the road towards becoming a world champion.
I mean let’s be honest: his nickname is “Blue Chip”; he possessed a record of (22-0, 12 KOs); and had the backing of not only one of the biggest named promoters in the sport of boxing (Tom Loefller), but also a fast-rising management team (Split-T).
With all the pieces on the board, and with a smile that can light the streets of New York City, it appeared that Martin was being groomed in becoming the next young star in boxing.
Martin’s phenomenal power, speed, quickness, and overall skills had earned him the right to be viewed as a soon-to-be world champion.
The plan was set.
After a successful run of dominating opponents, toppled with highlight reel knockout wins, and title belts wrapped around his waist (World Boxing Council Continental Americas Light Title, World Boxing Association Inter-Continental Light Title), Martin and his team decided to take a step up in weight and competition.
Unfortunately for Martin, things did not go as planned.
Martin would move up from the 135lb division (Lightweight) and enter the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS). This move would take Martin to 140lb (Super Lightweight) where he would face the best of the best in the division.
Martin entered the coveted Muhammad Ali Tournament as the number eight seed where he would face the number one seed and undefeated southpaw Josh Taylor. Up for grabs was the WBC Silver Super Lightweight Title and a chance to go further in the tournament.
For Martin, that fateful loss has been a huge learning experience him, both inside and outside of the ring. For that tough loss, Martin has learned a great deal about himself as well as the business side of boxing.
Fast forward and two years later, Martin’s hunger and drive to get back to the top of boxing, has taken a new turn so to speak. After moving around the United States, bouncing from gym to gym, Martin has finally settled into a place where he is learning rather being told what to do.
New start, new home, new team
Martin has found a new home in Tampa Bay (Fl), with a new trainer, new facility, and new vigor towards the sport that he loves.
“I’m feeling good. I cannot wait for this epidemic to finish so that I can get back to the top of boxing.”
“I went through a lot during the past year. My past has led me hear. This a great facility, with great staff, it feels amazing, and now it’s full steam ahead when boxing starts back up.”
With the COVID-19 virus affecting so many lives through the world, Martin and his team have been staying close to one another, learning about each other, and building a strong team
“It’s been great, Martin said, “we’ve been isolating and working.”
“We’re learning more and more about each other. I’m getting to learn him and he’s getting to learn me. Coach Mark is more of a teacher and exactly what I need in my career.”
“I’ve trained with a lot of coaches. I trained at a lot of gyms. There aren’t a lot of trainers in boxing that are teachers. Some of them are just yes men. Most of them let young fighters make the same mistakes over and over. With Coach Mark, I knew where we stood and what I need to learn.”
“I’m super excited to get back to boxing. Everyday I’m eager to work. I know safety comes first and that’s most important so that we can get back to a normal life.”
When asked if there was anything in particular that’s been added to Martin’s, both men shared:
“My coach wants me to be more loose, be more athletic, fight more like a black fighter. That’s something I got away from over the last to three years because of the situation that I was in. That’s something I have to get back to doing. It’s not hard to do it, but right now, it’s something that I have to do.”
“I personally know that’s something good for me and he knows that as well. We are one. When I’m in the ring, he’s in the ring. He’s not going let me get away with anything. If I’m doing something wrong, he’s going to tell me about it. I believe his in his vision.”
“I need to just get back to boxing and work on different moves, angles, etc. I am learning to not throw every punch with so much power behind it.”
Coach Mark said:
“When I first met Ryan, it was a blessing. Ryan is very intelligent and humble. Ryan is a lot wiser now than that what took place with him earlier in his career. He’s suffered his trials and tribulations. We’re letting that situation be water under the bridge.”
“If he kept that anger in his heart, it would hurt him in the ring. He suffered a tough loss against Josh Taylor. Going forward in his career, we’ll be looking to utilize more athleticism, rather than his natural power.”
“People may ask who am I? Whose Mark from the Bronx? Who have I ever trained.? I grew up in a time where trainers were teachers, not just a coach. I’ve worked with plenty of fighters. You know how boxing is. I’ve help fighters reach a certain level in their career and then they end up running away for the money.”
“I told Ryan that you have to be teachable. If you’re not teachable then we’re not going to be able to work together. He came to me with an understanding that he needed to get better. Ryan and I believe in communication. When he spoke and with his humility, I knew we could work together. We have a good team. I’m not here to change him, I’m here to add to what he has already.”
“With good communication comes good results. I tell him all the time the day that you don’t understand me, let me know. There has to be: one voice, one man in the gym, one person to lead. It’s my job that he learns. It’s my job to have to dot every “I” and cross every “T”.
“Listen – I don’t know if he’ll become a world champion. Only he knows that. We’re putting the work in day in and day out. Does he have the talent? The pedigree? Hell yeah! But when he goes through the ropes, it’s on him to produce.”
With a new team in place, which includes a state of the art facility and possible future fights with Premier Boxing Champions, Martin has all of his chips on the table, he’s taking all bets, and ready to put it all on the line.
“The last time you and I spoke, I was angry, but this time I’m around, I’m humbler. I can’t let the past dictate my future.”
“I’m planning to return back to 135lb. I want to win a few fights and then the world title. After that, I plan to move back up to 140lb.”
“A lot of people left me and downed me after the Taylor fight. I’m not going to lie, that has stuck and added motivation for to work me to work harder to get back to the top.”
“If Taylor is still on top when I get back there, I’d like a rematch. If I become his mandatory opponent, he’ll have no other choice but to face me.”
“I’m working hard. Once we get through this pandemic, I’m coming. I don’t want to say too much right now, but when I get back to fighting, that will be my talking. I’m going to let my work inside the ring speak for me.”
For continued support, follow Martin’s journey on social media at:
Xavier Porter is the:
- Host and Producer of the multi-cultural podcast series: SHOOT THE FIVE WITH XAVIER PORTER
- Editor and Lead Writer: www.brooklynfights.com
- Boxing Analyst for: Facebook FIGHTNIGHTLIVE https://www.facebook.com/FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE/
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