Ryan Garner may have to wait until next year to begin making headlines but his reemergence as a potential future star was one of the most pleasing British boxing stories of 2023. 

The talented Garner’s career has been one of frustration and even his most ardent supporters began to wonder if they would ever see him make the most of his undoubted ability but the unbeaten super featherweight has righted the ship over the past 18 months.

Garner (14-0, 8 KO’s) built some momentum by rattling off two impressive stoppage victories and then created a buzz in British boxing circles by signing for an eye-catching step-up fight with former British and current IBO champion, Anthony Cacace. 

The fight didn’t happen. Garner has caused himself plenty of problems in the past but this time, ’The Piranha’ was entirely faultless. Just a couple of weeks before the fight was due to take place, Cacace was forced to withdraw with a wrist injury.

Whereas the old Ryan Garner may have drifted away from the sport, enjoyed himself over Christmas and had to start again from scratch in the New Year, the new and improved version has stayed in the gym and was able to take the positives from a successful campaign.

“I had two fights, two good wins and two stoppages, picked up my first title and I was gonna finish on my biggest fight to date. A big step up, a massive fight for me and it could have taken my career to the next level but Anthony Cacace had to pull out. I think it was a broken wrist,” Garner told Blighty Boxing.

“It’s just another bump in the road, like many I’ve had in my career already. It ain’t gonna stop me. Nothing’s gonna hold me back. I’m just aiming for next year now and pushing on. I wanna get as many fights in as possible and hopefully pick up a few different titles as well.”

it is almost eight years since Garner burst on to the scene as a precociously talented teenager but he remains one of the brightest hopes in British boxing. He is still only 25 years old and it looks like his various trials and tribulations have come to an end just as he hits his peak years. Garner has said in the past that had the hard fights and resulting attention arrived earlier in his career, he may not have been mature enough to deal with the fall out. Now, he has a young family to take care of and over the past couple of years it has dawned on him that he can’t afford to let his ability go to waste. Stopping Juan Antunez in August earned him the WBC International title and he is ready to hit the ground running in 2024.

“If the Cacace fight’s there again, I’m willing to take it again,” he said. “Who knows? He might wanna move on he wanted to move on anyway. The British title is tied up. Liam Dillon and Qais Ashfaq are having a rematch and then Reece Bellotti won a final eliminator. I wanna win as many titles as I can, earn as much money as I can and fight for my family.

“I’m game. I want these big fights. If I’ve gotta fight these big names, I don’t care. I know what I’m capable of, I believe in myself and I want these big fight to take my career to the next level.”