By Jake Donovan
Whatever quality time was enjoyed by Ryan Martin over the Easter weekend will have to last at least through mid-May. The 22-year old prospect is set for a pair of fights over the course of the next five weeks, beginning with his first pro fight in Puerto Rico.
Martin (11-0, 6KOs) will appear on the undercard of Orlando Salido’s 130 lb. title defense versus Roman ‘Rocky’ Martinez, a former champ from Vega Baja. Like his traveling stablemate, Martin also faces local flavor as he is set for a scheduled six-round lightweight bout with Arecibo’s Miguel ‘Mikito’ Soto (12-5, 12KOs).
The show takes place at Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot in the island’s historic capital city of San Juan.
“The island is filled with boxing culture and I’m looking forward to showcasing my skills,” notes Martin, born and raised in East Tennessee but who now lives and trains in Cleveland, Ohio.
Most will glance at the résumé of Soto and not think anything of the matchup (all of Soto’s losses have come in his last six fights). But for Martin—aptly named ‘Blue Chip’ for his standout amateur career—every fight is an audition, especially when they come back to back.
“It’s a big deal because I’m in front of the networks again,” notes Martin, who is managed by Tim VanNewhouse and promoted by 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions.
This weekend’s show airs live on DirecTV Pay-Per-View, with a win placing him on the undercard of the May 9 show topped by the HBO headliner between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and James Kirkland. “My team has me fully prepared and I will make most of the opportunities.”
Aside from impressing the networks, Martin hopes to attract the attention of some of Puerto Rico’s greatest boxing talent, including one of his all time favorites.
“I’m hopeful that Felix Trinidad will be in the audience,” Martin wonders of the Hall-of-Fame fighter who punched his way to titles in three weight classes while serving as among the best and most popular of his era. “He was a gift to boxing from God, his devastating body punches and relentless pressure will always be inspiring to me.
“My trainer (Joe Delguyd) shares stories with me about his sparring days with the lightweight sensation Hector Camacho and often talks about Wilfred Benitiez. So I think this will be an exciting trip for him as well.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox