Ryan Martin can finally put the nightmare of the past year behind him.
The talented 23-year-old lightweight prospect nicknamed "Blue Chip" has not fought since May but he is finally free of rapper/promoter Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's SMS Promotions and is ready to resume his career.
Martin (13-0, 8 KOs), of Chattanooga, Tennessee, will return on April 23 to face Mexico's Rosbel Montoya (16-7-1, 13 KOs) on the undercard of middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin's mandatory defense against Dominic Wade at the Forum in Inglewood, California, where he will have a chance to impress an expected sold-out crowd, a large media contingent and HBO executives.
It has been a long time coming for Martin, whose career was put on ice by Jackson when he declared bankruptcy and stopped communicating with Martin and his team. Jackson's time as a promoter was nothing but a disaster as he held up the careers of fighters such as Martin, Yuriorkis Gamboa, James Kirkland and others.
A legal battle between Martin's team, led by his passionate manager, Tim VanNewhouse, and Jackson ensued. They finally came to a settlement recently, allowing Martin to resume his promising career.
"My time off has been bittersweet," Martin said. "I've been saddened by not being as active as some of my peers, but I know this has significantly contributed to my development -- owning new skills in the gym and expanding my boxing IQ. Though times felt very stagnant, I know my team hasn't let up. My manager and attorneys stayed proactive during the exhausting court system and my trainers stayed consistent with my training programs. I want to thank them for everything they've done for me."
Despite the relationship with Jackson going south, Martin took the high road.
"I will never forget the opportunity Fifty gave me," Martin said. "He funded the beginning stages of my career and helped paint some of the visions I have of becoming a champion. He was instrumental in me leaving the amateur ranks to begin this journey as a prizefighter. For that I will always be thankful."
Now he is working with K2 Promotions' Tom Loeffler and is excited to begin another chapter of his career.
"I'm pleased to have the support of Tom Loeffler and to fight in front of GGG's huge fan base," Martin said. "I'm rounding out my training camp this week and I'm eager to showcase my skills."