FRIDAY night will mark the start of a new era for Swindon boxer Ryan Martin.
After several years in the amateurs, the welterweight will make his debut in the professional ranks on the undercard of Keith Mayo’s show at the Oasis Leisure Centre.
Having switched from Walcot ABC, Martin is now training out of the Horseshoe Gym in Greenbridge Road.
And while he is feeling comfortable in his new surroundings, their is an air of excitement from the youngster as he steps into the unknown world of professional pugilism.
For several weeks , Martin had been preparing to tackle Brighton journeyman Kevin McCauley. The 82-fight veteran has helped in the development of rising stars of the ring Bradley Saunders, Lee Purdy and Liam Smith.
However, the 34-year-old is unable to feature and Mayo has drafted in the even more experienced veteran Matt Seawright as he makes 100th outing.
Despite this late change of opponent, Martin says that he unfazed and is prepared for whoever will be in the opposite come fight night.
“I was originally meant to be boxing Kevin McCauley but that has been cancelled and I’m now facing Matt Seawright,” Martin said.
“I’ve had a good look at him and I’m feeling confident. He is a tough lad, but I’m feeling good, “He is tough, in his losses he rarely gets stopped, so I’m not going to come out silly throwing haymakers.
“I’m going to use my boxing skills, keep him at bay and use my attributes.
“I had been studying Kevin McCauley and had a plan in my head, but now it has changed.
“I’m fit, so to be honest, whatever opponent comes my way I will be feeling good.”
Late changes of opponents is nothing new for fighters taking their tentative steps into the paid ranks, it is all part of the learning every boxer goes through.
And while gaining valuable ring experience will be the key for Martin, he knows making his debut in his hometown will give that little extra edge to perform.
“That was a big thing for me having my pro debut in Swindon, I want all my friends and family there,” he said. “I’ve got a big crowd coming so I have got to perform.
“I’m really forward to it. I’ve been training hard and I’m feeling fit, adjusting to the training well, the diet is spot on, which makes a change.
“There has been loads of sparring with the boys in the gym, the padwork with Islan (Eltuyev) has been spot on, and there has been the general conditioning and bag work - I’m ready for it.”
There also is an extra buzz in the Horseshoe Gym since the turn of the year with stablemate Kelvin Young holding the IBO super-middleweight intercontinental title.
“I think it has given everyone a boost,” Martin said.
“The attitude is good with everyone, we are bouncing off each other.
“When you see someone local like Kelvin winning a title, it gives you something to aim for - it makes it all seems feasible.”