SAN DIEGO, June 28, 2017 – You may know the term “blue chip” in connection with “blue chip stocks.” A blue chip stock represents an investment in a business of the highest quality with a rock-solid balance sheet, fantastic growth record, stability and durability even in a volatile investment market. The term came originally from the game of poker. Blue poker chips are the highest value chips in the game.
American lightweight prospect Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin acquired his nickname from his manager, Tim VanNewhouse. It couldn’t be a better fit for the 24-year-old Chattanooga, Tennessee native now fighting out of Cleveland, Ohio. After a solid amateur career record of 202 wins against 22 losses with numerous national championships, Martin turned professional after narrowly missing the opportunity to quality for the 2012 Olympic boxing team. It was the right move for Martin, who has put together an impressive 18-0 record with 11 knockouts in three and a half years.
Martin scored many of his victories fighting on undercards of significant main events, most recently an impressive eighth round stoppage of Luis Cruz on the Golovkin vs. Jacobs at Madison Square Garden in March. Martin captured the attention of knowledgeable boxing observers with his aggressive, power-punching style and his engaging personality. Martin fights this Friday in his first bout on ESPN from the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California. The broadcast starts at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT. Martin faces Marcos Jimenez (22-7, 15 KOs) of Puerto Rico in a 10-round bout.
Martin, originally signed to the short-lived SMS Promotions under rapper 50 Cent, is now a member of the K2 Promotions stable, which includes middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Like nearly everyone, promoter Tom Loeffler believes Martin has tremendous potential.
Martin speaks about boxing with joy. When asked where it comes from, it is so deeply ingrained in Martin he has trouble putting it into words. The smile on his face says it for him. “I really love it. Since I was seven or eight years old, it’s the only thing I wanted to do, the only thing I have on my mind … I want to make the most of it and make myself happy with it. There’s no point in life being down whatever you do,” said Martin.
The attitude coupled with Christian faith has served him well, helping him deal with the shooting death of his 19-year-old brother Kevin Albert, Jr., in Chattanooga.
His enthusiasm also shows in his ring style. “It’s very important, especially for up and coming guys, someone in contention to be a fighter who can keep people on the edge of their seats, and keep your attention to the end of the night. People don’t want to lose attention. It builds you up to the TV networks and the people watching on TV. ‘Oh yeah, I like that kid, he’s an action fighter.’” Martin said he lives to hear the crowd respond when he’s in the ring. “When I’m in the ring, and I hear the crowd go ‘ooh, aah,’ they’re doing something good and I hope it’s for me. That’s what keeps you around.”
Martin put in four weeks of training at The Summit run by Abel Sanchez in Big Bear, California prepping for Friday’s fight, his second visit to Big Bear. “I love Big Bear, it has become a second home,” said Martin, saying he likes the focused, competitive atmosphere among the boxers based there, led by the no-nonsense Golovkin whose work ethic and training regimen is formidable.
Martin had the opportunity to spar with Sanchez-trained lightweight Denis Shafikov of Russia. The 32-year-old veteran is also fighting on Friday in Martin’s backyard, Toledo Ohio. In another twist, Shafikov’s opponent, American Robert Easter Jr., is the amateur who defeated Martin in 2012 to keep him off the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.
“What I learned (from Shafikov) was patience. Patience, keep working at your goal for that one round, fight to the end of the round, for that round … Denis is a very hard worker, me and him worked a lot of rounds, hard rounds, hard work,” said Martin.
Martin’s role model in boxing is American great Sugar Ray Leonard. “A standup guy, he sets a good example to guys in and out of the ring, all the time.” The fighter he most enjoys watching personally? “I like Joshua, Anthony Joshua, he’s an action fighter. I like to watch the heavyweights because they hit so hard,” said Martin of the British heavyweight champion.
Martin sees himself as part of a talent wave working to bring back American supremacy in boxing. What will it take? “We just have to fight the best, and beat the best. (Errol) Spence, (Gervonta) Davis did this recently, picking up wins. It’s going to be a long process, but it is possible for us to get back on top in the world of boxing.
“Boxing became a business, not about fighting the best, like when (Daniel) Jacobs fought Triple G (Golovkin). That’s what we have to get back to. I do believe we’re going to get there. (Deontay) Wilder is in talks to go overseas and fight. That’s what we have to do, you know,” insists Martin.
Martin said he’s excited about the opportunity ahead of him Friday. “Everybody’s excited about it, they are excited I’m back on TV and fighting on a premium network like ESPN, everyone has it, it’s free everyone can tune in and watch. It’s a great opportunity I’m looking forward to the opportunity to capitalize on it. I’m thankful to Tom (Loeffler) and Golden Boy, I plan to make a statement,” promised Martin.
Martin says his opponent Jimenez can be a defensive fighter. “I’ve got to get him to open up, that’s the plan,” said Martin. “He’s solid, he will be physically strong … I’m going to have to pick my punches and stay consistent.”
Martin, tall for a lightweight at 5-11, is still working with trainer Joe Delguyd on using his height. Martin’s fundamentals are solid: movement, footwork, accuracy, and smart combination punching. He hits with authority if not with crushing power. His power punching percentage in his last fight in March was 58 percent.
“I think what will bring glory back to lightweight is which champions are going to fight each other. I’ll keep working my way to the top and wait my turn. I won’t rush, me and team will take it from there,” said Martin.
Whether your blue chip investment in Martin is some of your time watching ESPN Friday, a ringside seat or a pay-per-view in the future, this is one solid boxing investment. Follow Ryan Martin at @BlueChipBoxer
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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