Rapper 50 Cent, left, has been very active in promoting young boxer Ryan Martin from Chattanooga, right.Photo by Photo: Contributed photo by Tim VanNewhouse
Ryan "Blue Chip" Martin of Chattanooga improved to 7-0 as a professional lightweight boxer Wednesday night with a unanimous four-round decision over Matthew Baca in Connecticut.
The bout was televised by ESPN2.
Martin, a 6-foot, 135-pounder, signed last September with 50 Cent's SMS Promotions and has been training in Ohio. The 21-year-old was a guest Thursday on "Press Row" on Chattanooga's ESPN 105.1 The Zone.
Q: Does it change your mindset at all when you're fighting in front of a national audience on ESPN2?
A: "My mindset is really no different from any other match I go into. The bright lights and the cameras don't affect me at all. I just go in there with a game plan and try to execute it."
Q: There had to be some point early on where beating the snot out of someone gave you a thrill. How did that happen?
A: "When I was seven years old, I first put on boxing gloves. I would follow my older brother to the gym, and I hit this guy one time in the face, and it's been a thrill ever since. I love everything about the sport of boxing, from the work I put in to a victory like I had last night."
Q: What's next for you, and at what point will there be a title shot?
A: "My ranking went up like 10 points after last night, so I'm very excited about that. Right now, my team and I are going to take a break from boxing, because we've been working really hard this past year. We're going to take a break and let my body heal up. I plan to enjoy myself around my family and friends."
Q: How important is still being undefeated in regards to the opportunities you would like to have?
A: "It's very important, but what's most important is just to keep developing. We're just going to keep working so when we do get that shot, I'll be as sharp as a pencil."
Q: What is your favorite "Rocky" movie?
A: "I like all of them but especially Rocky IV when he fought the Russian. The Russian was a machine and so powerful."
Q: What do you call 50 Cent?
A: "I call him 5."
Q: Who was your favorite boxer growing up?"
A: "Sugar Ray Leonard."
Q: When you're on the road and doing all the traveling that you do, what's the restaurant you miss most in Chattanooga?
A: "Smokey Bones."
Contact David Paschall at email@example.com or 423-757-6524.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...