LOCAL boxer Ryan Greene is one of eight fighters taking part in Betfair’s Prizefighter at the King’s Hall, on Saturday, May 5.
The 28-year-old middleweight has been training for the past six weeks for the event that will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn was impressed enough to give Ryan a chance to take part in the event after watching the Lurgan man in the ring.
When asked about how the opportunity arose Ryan said: “Prizefighter came about after Eddie Hearn seen my unbeaten record and seen that I was a good ticket seller. He thought my style was right for Prizefighter and that’s probably why he chose me.”
The other middleweight contenders that will be fighting for the top prize are Darren Cruise, Anthony Fitzgerald, Mark Heffron, JJ McDonagh, Simon O’Donnell, Eamonn O’Kane and Joe Rea.
Ryan is unbeaten in the five fights he has been involved in since turning professional in 2010, with the most recent taking place in Glasgow on Friday, April 6.
The four round bout against Dalton Millar ended in a points decision in favour of Ryan, keeping everything on track for May 5.
Millar came out of the former British and European Champion James Cook’s gym, so he was a good opponent to take on in the build up to Prizefighter.
Ryan’s father Anthony owns the Nisa shops in Taghnevan and Ryan has had to take eight weeks off the family business to prepare for the big night.
“I’ve been doing a lot of endurance training and sparring up in Belfast at the Gleann Boxing Club. I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait for the night,” said Ryan.
Besides sparring and gym work, Ryan has even involved shiatsu massages into his training in order to help recover and get ready for Prizefighter.
“I’ve been going to the Millennium Gym in Lurgan to get the massages from Gary McConville. It’s a Japanese massage and it’s a good way to relax.”
Ryan and his trainer Damien Denny have been doing their homework on the other fighters involved in Prizefighter.
“I’ve seen Eamonn O’Kane fight before. I’ve been in the ring with him before in an exhibition and I’ve sparred with a few of the other guys.
“We all sort of know each other but maybe there’s just a couple we don’t know a lot about. We don’t know a whole lot about Cruise, McDonagh or Heffron,” stated Ryan.
The King’s Hall can hold a maximum capacity of 6,000 spectators but Ryan has experience of performing in front of the big crowds after fighting in front of an audience of 5,000 in Iceland while boxing for Ireland at international level back in 2003.
Ryan began his boxing career as a 15-year-old after he joined the Halls Mill Gym in Lawrencetown before moving on to Belfast’s Dockers Club two years later.
Since then Ryan has been making a name for himself in the sport and here’s hoping the local man can bring the prize back to Lurgan.
The night at the King’s Hall promises to be one of the best nights of boxing that Belfast has ever produced. As well as the Prizefighter event, spectators can witness the return of Belfast’s Martin Lindsay and see Dungiven’s former unbeaten European Champion Paul McCloskey take on the USA’s two time World Champion Julio Diaz.
For the chance to see Ryan in a sparring session before Prizefighter or to get tickets for the event call Anthony Greene on 07748 753 437.
Ticket prices start out at £30 and rise to £40, £60 and £100. Tickets are limited. It is advised that you don’t rely on paying on the night as you may be refused because the event is expected to be a sell out.