'NEW YEAR, NEW START, NEW PIRANHA!'
Fighter Diary by Ryan Garner
One of the most exciting young punchers in the country, the 20-year-old super featherweight – potentially featheweight – Ryan Garner captured the attention of boxing fans with two impressive performances on the BT Sport platform in 2017 and, as he explains in his first Fighter Diary, he intends to make up for a bit of lost time in 2018…
“AHEAD OF MY last fight back in July – against Tamas Laska – I was in peak condition, both physically and mentally, the best I have been.
It showed in the ring at the Copper Box when I blasted out my opponent in just over two minutes – the quickest defeat on his record.
I was flying and a big reason for that was because before the fight I spent three weeks sparring Carl Frampton leading up to it. It was one of the best camps I have had, sparring three times a week against such an elite level fighter.
I was soaking up the experience like a sponge and learning loads from him. Come fight night it was the best I have felt and I think that is why I got him out of there in the first!
It is a massive deal to now have the same promoter as Carl and it brings BT Sport and BoxNation to an even higher level now because there will be more people viewing it, with people like him on the platform.
There is big spin off for the likes of me too because there will be more people viewing our fights as well as his.
I was saying to my trainer Wayne (Batten) that for the Nonito Donaire fight I think my style is perfect and hopefully we can arrange it and I will happily go to Manchester to spar him for a couple of weeks.
I am aggressive just like Donaire so it would be perfect sparring for him and maybe, one day, I can also be on his undercard! That is the aim.
It would be beneficial for both of us. I would be helping him with sparring, I would be learning massively from him, then we both fight and both win.
The fact I have been out of the ring since July was all my own doing because I had a little blip in my life and stepped off the straight and narrow.
I made a silly mistake that came about through starting to hang around with the wrong crowd and I have now learned from it massively. I have been lucky enough to receive amazing support to get myself back on track and now I just can’t wait to enjoy a big 2018.
It was a hard lesson to learn and the whole experience was a shock to the system. Obviously I know I have got no chances left now and I’ve got to work and prove myself again.
It has been a kick up the backside that I needed; one I will learn from and one that will hopefully make me become a better person.
I will be alert to dangers at all times now because boxing is all I know and it is my life. If I make a mistake again it could be the end of the road for me and that will always remain at the back of my mind.
Making a wrong lifestyle choice could jeopardise my whole life. I have been boxing for ten years and this is everything I have worked for as an amateur and put my body through all the pain of training.
I know now that you need the right people around you at all times and I have no pulled myself away from certain people. I now keep a small circle of friends who I know will always keep me on the straight and narrow.
It is also about making the right decisions for yourself and I have to take responsibility.
I have paid a price and missed out on potentially being on a few big shows, so I have been inactive and, for a full-time boxer, if I don’t fight I don’t get paid.
It is now a new year, new start, new me – new Piranha!
I am massively grateful that Frank has stuck with me and in the last couple of months he has helped me out greatly, being there when I needed him.
I’ve got a lot to prove again and I intend to get the ball rolling.
My main priority is to stay busy but by the end of the year my goal is to have some sort of title – Area, English, anything.
The next two or three fights I want to start stepping my rounds up against tough opponents and towards the end of the year start fighting some better people.
At just 20 years of age I know titles don’t really matter so much and it is probably more on an ego thing from me, so that is where Wayne, Frank Warren and my manager Frank Hopkins play a massive part.
They keep me in check because I am eager and would like to fight for a title tomorrow. They know what is best for me, have got my best interests at heart and will keep me grounded.
Once you get into titles there is no turning back so it is a tricky process. You’ve got to choose the right time, so they will do what is best for me.
And I always do as I’m told now – I’ve got to!”