RYAN Martin can take succour from the example set by sparring partner Lee Selby as he climbs the welterweight rankings, says trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick.

The Swindon fighter’s progress has been stalled slightly by two defeats in his last three fights, including a points loss to Shropshire’s Craig Morris in their IBO Continental title contest earlier this month.

Ferndale Road-based trainer Fitzpatrick is convinced he has a star on his hands, insisting Martin’s work between fights is of the highest order but he now needs to bring it to the fore in the ring.

Selby, who successfully defending his IBF world featherweight title against Eduardo Ramirez at London’s Copper Box arena the weekend before last, has been among those to feature in Martin’s training regime and Fitzpatrick sees the similarities between the Welsh fighter and his man.

“It’s funny that he’s been sparring with Lee Selby because if you look back at repeated interviews with Lee Selby, he has said since he was a young pro that when I start doing in the ring on fight night what I’m doing in the ring when I’m sparring, you’re going to see a great fighter come out,’ said Fitzpatrick.

“That’s the same with Ryan. He’s able to do it all and when he starts transferring that on to the big nights in the ring, there is a world champion there.

“When he sparred Lee Selby, he did 18 rounds with Lee. He could have gone in there and thought ‘I’m a lot heavier than Lee, so I’ll use my strength and size and power to negate Lee’s experience and his combination punching.

“But he didn’t. He put his power, strength and size to the side and focused on ‘can I negate what Lee has with my timing?’ ‘Can I use my positioning to get my shots off.’ “That, to me, was far more impressive than using his obvious attributes, because then you still don’t know where you stand.

“He matched Lee and had excellent work with Lee, with nice clever, sharp boxing and (Selby’s trainer) Tony Borg said that was just excellent, smart boxing.

“He did that with somebody who is a world champion like Lee at a lighter weight and then he gets in there with other (big, strong) guys I have in the gym and boxes with them.

“He’s a world-class fighter and deserves to be in the big fights and he will get to the big fights because he has got a strong mentality. It’s just a frustrating time right now.’’