RYAN GARNER HOPES that he is bucking conventional wisdom in successfully adding an overseas holiday to the beginning of his training camp.
To be fair to the snapping ‘Piranha’ from Southampton, it was never his intention to slot a trip to Mexico into his schedule, but his holiday was planned for after his scheduled fight at York Hall at the end of April.
The Bethnal Green fight night ultimately didn’t go ahead after the main event was switched to the Wembley Stadium show the previous weekend and the young super featherweight star was left with a dilemma.
In the end, the Mexico voyage went ahead and the 24-year-old was slotted in on a later show, which is next Saturday (July 16) at the Copper Box Arena where he will take on Christian Lopez Flores over eight rounds in his 12th professional fight.
Garner reports that he feels rejuvenated by his North American experience, not just for the R & R, but more for the thinking time the break afforded him to consider his strengths and shortcomings.
“Since I’ve come back I’ve just been doing things a little bit differently and I feel like things are better already,” revealed the Wayne Batten-trained fighter. “A little break does you the world of good, it gives you the chance to step back from things a bit and think about what the things you are doing badly are and what needs working on.
“Since I have had that break, I have come back and things seem to be a little bit better than they were before. Must be sitting around the pool thinking about boxing!
“I was good out there and did a good few runs, but it was also good to finally get back and jump straight back into camp,” added Garner, who also put in the hard yards last time out and was naturally down in the dumps over missing out.
“It was gutting really because, you might have seen the picture I put up on social media, it was the best shape I had ever been in. I was doing loads of 10 run spars leading up to it against fresh opponents and it was the best I have ever felt mentally and physically.
“I know a lot of people say it, but it genuinely was and I couldn’t have been in better shape and was raring to go.”
In the earlier stages of his fledgling career, Garner would admit himself that it wouldn’t take much to knock him off the rails and succumb to whatever temptations were put in front of him.
These days he is a switched on and serious athlete who applies himself at all times – even on an all-inclusive sunshine holiday where the tacos come thick and fast.
“Even on holiday, the old me wouldn’t have left poolside, but I must have done six or seven runs out there and did weights and stuff. The old me would have just sat on my backside.
“I was able to come back and get right on it, which shows why you need to keep consistent.
“I was in such a good position last time that I was offered a fight the week before and I could have done it. The old me would have had to say no because of making weight and I wouldn’t have been ready. But I was able to jump at the opportunity, so it goes to show that I have a different perspective now.
“This has been good timing and, with doing a bit over on holiday, having seven weeks to get ready has been perfect. If I was over there being a slob then I would have come back wondering if I could be ready.”
Now Garner is swapping Mexico for a Mexican in Flores, a fight designed to ready him for tougher challenges ahead with belts at stake.
“I know he is a Mexican, based in Spain, with a not bad record, so I think he is a bit game and has been in with some good kids. Hopefully after this one I will get a title fight so it will be good to get the eight rounds in the bank and then move on to bigger and better things.
“I know I am at the stage of my career where a title is within touching distance. I don’t know who against or for what but, after this one, the door will be open for me.”
Hamzah Sheeraz fights for the vacant WBC Silver middleweight title against Francisco Emanuel Torres on Saturday, 2 July at London’s Copper Box Arena. The British, Commonwealth and IBF European super middleweight titles will be on the line when Lennox Clarke and Mark Heffron meet in what should be a blockbuster battle between two big punchers.
A recent star at Wembley Stadium, Nick Ball will make a defence of his WBC Silver featherweight title against Namibian fighter Nathanael Kakololo, while Dennis McCann fights for the vacant WBC International Silver featherweight title against James Beech jr.
New signing Pierce O’Leary will fight for the first time under the Queensberry banner, with other fights on a bumper card featuring super featherweight Ryan Garner, light heavyweight Karol Itauma, super bantamweights Masood Abdulah and Umar Khan, welterweights Khalid Ali and Sean Noakes and super lightweight Sonny Liston Ali.
Tickets for the show at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday, 16 July are on sale now priced from £55 and are availible from SeeTickets.com.