It isn’t just rhyme that makes Ryan Garner’s ‘Piranha’ ring handle one of the most apt in British boxing.
Like the feared South American fish, the vicious 20 year old feather-cum-super-feather from Southampton has a capacity to make short shrift of his prey once they’re entrapped.
Since debuting at 18, with a disturbingly savage four round stoppage of Westbrook’s Ricky Leach in June 2016, the boy with the choir boy looks and bodysnatching hooks has torn through six successive opponents with five falling before the close of round three.
‘Outside the ring, I’m pretty laid back but I’ve two elder brothers who beat me up a lot and when I get inside the ring the nice guy switches off and I just want to hurt people,’ says rockin’ Ryan who kickstarts his 2018 in a four rounder at the York Hall on February 24th.
‘I’ve been training for 10 years so I know the job I have to do. There’s no grudges. I don’t want to inflict lifelong damage but, in the fight, I want to hurt whoever’s in front of me as much as I can. I get a buzz from it. People look at you differently if you’ve a string of knockouts on your card.’
The 2013 European schoolboy champion and one time World Juniors quarter finalist earned generated wide acclaim whilst storming to half a dozen wins in his opening 13 months without a singlet. However, he has since endured seven months on the sidelines – suspended for an out of ring infraction – and is frothing at the chance to remind the cognoscenti of his quality.
‘My hope for 2018 is just to be as active as possible, learning on the job,’ says the former carpenter’s apprentice who is managed by Frank Hopkins and coached by Wayne Batten at the Pound-for-Pound gym in Southampton city centre.
‘Wayne, Frank Hopkins and Frank Warren have got my best interests at heart. After three or four more fights I should be ready to start looking at domestic titles; the Southern Area, possibly the English. That would get the ball rolling, open doors.’
A triple national junior champion, Garner fought for England on 19 occasions whilst compiling a 41-15 amateur slate.
‘My amateur pedigree is a massive plus in helping me move quicker,’ says the 5ft 6in south coaster who first gloved up at the age of 11.
‘I fought all around the world, boxing national champions in their home countries. I fought at the Europeans in Russia on three separate occasions and in the World Juniors in Kiev (Ukraine) where I lost a split decision to the Cuban who went on to claim gold. That’s the level I operated at.’
He makes a welcome return to duty on Saturday week against the significantly more seasoned Spanish based Nicaraguan Lesther Cantillano.
‘This fight is made at 9.3 after a five or six week camp. With 10 weeks, I’m confident that I could make featherweight,’ says Garner
‘The show is rammed with talent so I’m in another four rounder. Hopefully, it’ll be my last.
‘I believe I’m destined for a long, exciting career and, after seven months out, I need to get myself back inside the heads of all the fans and media on February 24th, remind them of what I can do at my best.
‘The kid’s durable, he took (GB Olympian) Joe Cordina the distance recently so it’s a good little test. As long as I look good that’s all that matters but there’s no better feeling than getting the job done early!’