9 May 2010 – By Cormac Campbell
Well spoken and dressed in his best suit, only the grazes on his face gave away what had gone before.
Few of the fight fans in attendance at Belfasts Holiday Inn will forget the first time they saw Ryan Greene in action. The Lurgan native, who had been out of the ring for a year following the conclusion of a relatively successful amateur career, was back with a bang.
Boxing at light-middleweight Greene had sold something in the region of 200 tickets for his debut no pressure then. But the shopkeeper did not disappoint and will have won a few extra fans following his high octane victory over Englishman Ryan Clark.
Insiders knew Greene could punch. Indeed, I remember boxing on the same bill as a teenage Greene a decade ago at Guilfords Pheasant Lodge.
Then boxing for the host HML club, Greene was developing a reputation for two fisted power that ensured many of his contests were ending early something relatively uncommon on the teenage circuit. Whether or not Greenes opponent that night could match him for ability is irrelevant, for he could not take his power and soon found himself on the canvas, blindly scrambling for his gumshield. Suffice to say that I was content that Greene was not in my weight division.
A move to Belfasts Dockers club followed, easing Greene to a number of titles. But it was apparent that his marauding style was not suited to point stealing. Few would have though he would wait so long to make the leap into the more accommodating paid ranks.
I havent fought in a year and hadnt fought in eight months before that. I took a year out to see what I wanted to do, he told the press after his debut victory. The amateur game didnt suit me but I always thought I had the style for the professional game. I wanted to see if I had the belief and the commitment to go on further. I met Damian Denny and his brother Frank and they have helped me and brought me to a different level.
The old aggression and power are still there after all Greene punched Clark (who had never previously been dropped) through the ropes and onto the laps of BBBC officials John Campbell and Hugh Russell just two minutes into the contest. But Greene also conceded that he will need more than raw power if he is to fulfil his professional ambitions.
When he went through the ropes I said, happy days, this will be an early night, he joked.
But I think I went in too soon. There was a bit of nerves getting used to the whole thing. I had to think of the four rounds and had to box more towards the end. He was strong and stood up to some good shots but I wasnt surprised because I googled him and he had never been stopped or even put down.
I hit him with a load of good shots and knew there was little chance of putting him down again. I knew I was up on the cards after knocking him down so just thought, why be stupid? and I began to box more for the rest of the fight.
That Greene is not in boxing for the money makes him all the more intriguing to fight fans who will undoubtedly lap up his all action style.
I still work in the shops, so Im still flat out, but I want to push as hard as I can with the boxing and I want to get back in the ring a soon as possible.
Regardless of how far Greene can go, Irish boxing has found someone to lighten up any undercard.