TRAINER Paddy Fitzpatrick says the valuable lessons learned by Ryan Martin during his two defeats in 2017 have made him a far better fighter as he attempts to dazzle a home town audience next week.

Swindon fighter Martin will headline the Neilson Boxing-promoted ‘Kings of the Ring’ show at the MECA on Saturday, December 8.

The 24-year-old welterweight will be looking to make it a clean sweep of three wins in 2018 after previous successes over Italian Victor Edagha and Czech fighter Daniel Bazo.

Those victories represented a welcome return to form for Martin, who lost his unbeaten record to Michael McKinson in March 2017 amid defeat in a WBC world youth title fight.

Two fights later, Martin was beaten again by Craig Morris in his bid to claim the IBO Continental crown.

Although Fitzpatrick admits two big opportunities have passed Martin by, the Ferndale Road-based trainer has no doubt those disappointments have helped shape an even better fighter.

“Ryan has had two good opportunities before and we didn’t manage to capitalise on them, but what he learned in those losses has made him far, far more mentally focussed and more mentally aware,” said Fitzpatrick.

“We have a full team around him now, so he has a sports physio, a strength coach, a conditioner and we have a sports psychologist on board too.

“He is sparring with the best guys who are out there. He’s been up in camp twice now with Josh Kelly (Commonwealth champion) and put in some excellent work – it is like two chess masters going against each other when you watch them spar.

“Ryan gets it now. He is excelling in the gym and I am looking forward to that translating now into the ring.”

Victory in Swindon in just over a week’s time would push Martin’s record to 11-2 and Fitzpatrick hopes that will be a platform for a return to more high-profile contests next year.

“He will be out in December and then we will look to get out again in March. After that, I want something significant for him,” said Fitzpatrick.

“He will be up to 11 wins after December – God willing, if we do our job properly – and then I’d like to look for a title fight in March. If not March, the fight after that.

“It will either be a title fight or a 10-rounder in March, after that we will be looking to push on.

“He has got a great style. He has got the whole package and I am excited for him.”

Alongside Martin, Fitzpatrick stablemates Harry Webb, Bradley Townsend and Bec Connolly are all set to appear on the ‘Kings of the Ring’ show.