By Steve Kim
Lightweight Ryan 'Blue Chip' Martin faces Bryant Cruz as the opening bout on this weekend's HBO pay-per-view card featuring the middleweight collision between Gennady Golovin and Daniel Jacobs.
The card takes place at the Madison Square in New York.
For Martin - who is now aligned with K2 Promotions (and has fought on their undercards the past year or so) - it's a far cry from the second half of 2015 when he was sidelined as SMS Promotions floundered and eventually shuttered it's boxing operations.
Now, Martin gets to perform on a big stage with bigger opportunities to come should he do his job.
"Going through what I went through in 2015 I learned a lot from the situation. I grew as a person outside of boxing and inside of boxing and I feel like it did make me a better person," said Martin, who spent the first of this training camp in Big Bear training alongside Golovkin and under the watch of his trainer, Abel Sanchez.
"I believe you go through every situation for a reason. And I do feel I got a new start on my career and I'm happy. I feel during that whole time off I developed more skill, more power in both hands. I mean, I can't complain where I am now."
So have this past trials and tribulations heightened his appreciation for the sport?
"Boxing has always meant a lot to me,"answered the 24-year old Martin, who has record of 17-0 (10 KO's). "I just really settled in on how the sport of boxing really is - it's a business. There's a lot of friendships but it's a business. It's a good business and it could be a bad business. But I'm excited with where I'm at now. Big things coming."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.