IN THE first of his new fortnightly column, Swindon-based professional boxing manager & promoter, Mark Neilson, discusses last week’s announcement relating to Swindon welterweight Ryan Martin.

The British Boxing Board of Control released their monthly circular detailing all of their current champions and those boxers already selected to challenge for them, or those called to contest an eliminator.

Martin, currently ranked number 12 in the UK, has been called to face Kent’s Louis Greene over 10 rounds prior to July 31 in an Eliminator for the English Welterweight Title.

Ryan, having come off of a really impressive second round TKO against South African Champion Mziwoxolo Ndwayana in November 2019, was hoping to challenge for serious honours in 2020 before the pandemic put a brake on his career.

With former coach Paddy Fitzpatrick withdrawing from the pro game, Ryan has spent 2020 looking for a new mentor and hoping to add that piece of the puzzle that will help him achieve his ambitious goals. In appointing Adam Booth, one of the UK’s best as his trainer/manager, it makes a massive statement for Ryan and one that will hopefully see him realise his potential.

In truth, it’s a great 50-50 fight. Green, a former Southern Area champion, has only two blemishes on his record, when he stepped up levels to fight for WBO and IBF European Titles.

Martin, similarly has two losses, again when going up a level in IBF Continental and IBF Youth title shots. On his day, Ryan can deal with Greene in what will no doubt be a great fight.

The very shrewd Booth has other fighters regularly on the UK’s biggest promoter, Matchroom’s Sky TV shows, so hopefully this will be of enough interest to Eddie Hearn to find space on his schedule. Knowing Booth as we do, I would imagine that he’s saying to Ryan, if you think you’re good enough to go all of the way, you’ll have to beat fighters like Greene, so let’s roll the dice.

Whatever the outcome, the boxing fan will surely be the winner in what looks like a very tasty fight. With the recent retirement of World Title challenger, Jamie Cox, Swindon’s brilliant fight fans are eager to get behind another boxer who entertains.