Local Boxer Eyes Olympic Glory - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local Boxer Eyes Olympic Glory

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Chattanooga, TN (WRCB) -- The window of opportunity for a young boxer to shine on a national level is small.  The West Side Boxing Club in Chattanooga knows that. They've been working with Ryan Martin since he was eight, always talking about a world championship.

Last year martin's window opened - but unfortunately a volcano in Europe forced Team U.S.A. to withdraw from the World Boxing Championships in Russia.  Martin could have called it quits, but he didn't, now he's five fights away from the U.S.A. Olympic team.

Imagine fighting your whole life for one shot, when that shot comes you're told you can't go, to the biggest fight of your career.

Martin said, "it took a toll on me that I couldn't go overseas and fight, but it is what it is, I'm right back at it, right back on top."

Martin transformed frustration to motivation, and it showed Saturday night as Ryan won the 141lb Region four Championship, booking him a flight to Colorado Springs for the National Championships.

One step closer to representing the red white and blue in London in 2012.

West Side Coach Joe Smith said, "you gotta believe that the experience of not being able to go, he wanted that experience and now has that experience. It would have been real easy for him to give up, but he kept coming back and coming back."

Martin needs to win two fights in Colorado Springs, then two more fights at the Olympic Trials in Mobile Alabama.

Smith will be with him each step of the way, helping Ryan stay focused.

Martin said, "each fight I'm so excited, I gotta stay focused, not let anything outside of boxing distract me from what I'm about to do."

In martin's mind it's not what he's about to try, as he said it's what he's about to do.

As a coach on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team Smith says Ryan has what it takes to represent the nation in 2012.

"Ryan has all the tools, the conditioning, the quickness, the strength, the work ethic, he's got all the tools to get there. He has absolutely got a real shot," said Smith.

The National Championships at Colorado Springs take place from June 20th to the 25th.

He's not the only West Side boxer headed there. Emily Dagnan of Jasper earned a spot earlier this month, she'll be trying to make the first ever U.S. Olympic Women's Boxing Team.

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