PADDY Fitzpatrick has warned Ryan Martin that he cannot afford to lose this weekend if he wants to be in the big fights in 2018.

The 23-year-old from Swindon will face former Midlands Area champion Craig Morris on Saturday night at the Leicester Arena in an English welterweight title eliminator which will also see the victor crowned the IBO Continental champion.

Martin’s Ferndale Road-based trainer says that they have worked too hard to prevent his loss to Michael McKinson in their WBC Youth title fight in April from holding him back.

“He can’t afford to have a loss,” Fitzpatrick told the Advertiser. “We have worked hard to prevent that loss from not setting him back and It hasn’t.

“It is a few months later and we have got him an IBO Continental title and English title eliminator – he is actually doing very well.

“We cannot afford to slip up now in any way, shape or form if he wants to be in the big fights in 2018.

“He wants to fight any of the welterweights in Britain, any of them who will move him forward (in the rankings) that is what he wants and he is well capable of it.”

Fitzpatrick believes that Martin has the right preparation for the Morris contest, which is likely to be shown live on Freeview channel Five Spike, including sparring IBF featherweight world champion Lee Selby.

“He (Morris) is lot bigger than Ryan, he sizes up a lot bigger, he is strong, he is aggressive, but we have had a good range of sparring.

“We’ve sparred Lee Selby for speed and movement and Ryan has been sparring Dave Bailey, Sniper Smith and a few other big guys.

“Ryan hits like a super-middleweight, I know that his record doesn’t show it yet, but he really can punch.

“I think he used to be too quick. He would use way too much hand speed and movement and was trying to use everything at the same time.

“He has settled a lot in the year that we have been together.”

The Martin-Morris fight is part of the undercard which will see Malmesbury’s Joe Hughes face Anthony Yigit for the Swede’s European super-lightweight title, which is being shown live on Channel Five, while Martin’s stable-mate Luke Watkins acts as chief support in defending his Commonwealth cruiserweight crown against Mike Stafford which will be shown on Five Spike.