After almost five years away, Ryan Greene [6(1)-1(0)] will make his return to the ring this Saturday night.
The returning southpaw will box on the Team Wilton and Prospect Boxing card at the Shorts Sports and Social Club in Belfast having rebuilt himself following a damaging loss.
The talented Lurgan boxer was thought of as one to watch at the turn of the decade but would see his career peter out following his participation in the Prizefighter All-Irish middleweights back in 2012.
That May night at the King’s Hall in Belfast, Greene impressively got past Ciaran Healy but found himself eliminated following a first round stoppage to eventual winner and Irish champion Eamonn O’Kane.
The nature of defeat sent Greene into a downward spiral, but he will return at the weekend in a four rounder against durable English journeyman Liam Griffiths.
Greene spoke to Irish-Boxing.com about his time away from the sport, and admitted that “I didn’t really retire, I just was in a bad place after my defeat to O’Kane in the semi-finals of Prizefighter.”
The Armagh man explained that there were extenuating circumstances, and detailed that “I’m a light middle, an 11 stone fighter, but Prizefighter was at a catch weight of above middle, 11 stone 8lbs [four pounds over middleweight].”
“At eight weeks notice, and with limited experience in bulking up, it was hard to get the size and strength like the other guys in it who were coming down in weight.”
The defeat to the physically bigger O’Kane especially stung, and Greene noted how “the way I got beat – after getting head butted and thrown to the ground, then he caught me as I lost my head – is not how the fight would have panned out if he had of fought fairly.”
“I hold no grudges toward Eamonn, I wish him well in his retirement. I think that if he had boxed me to Queensberry Rules he probably would have beat me on points and outworked me, no doubt. But it would have been nice to have gone the distance with him and given him a good fight.”
A knockout loss on his record, Greene’s confidence was shattered, and he recalled how “I was the only fighter stopped in Prizefighter and it sent me into a depression. I didn’t feel the same about myself, my confidence was gone, and I couldn’t go to fights because I was afraid of people talking about it [the loss to O’Kane].”
“I just was in bad place.”
Now 33 years old, Greene has come to terms with the the defeat, and is ready to give boxing another go. There are no declarations of intent from the Ulsterman, and no titles to target, he just wants to test himself in the squared circle at least one more time
“I want to get through this fight on Saturday night and see how I get on,” he said. “I’m not looking past that. If I get the win, I’ll see how I feel – if I don’t, I don’t, at least I will have tried my best.”
“What defines us in life is how we rise after we fall.”
“I’ve a wee girl and another child on the way. It would be nice for them to remember their dad as being a winner and not the way I left it with Prizefighter.”
Also featuring on the card this Saturday are Luke and Matt Wilton, Casey Blair, and Tony Nellins.
Tickets (priced £30) are available from the boxers involved.