Three teachers from Lydiard Park Academy went along to the Oasis Leisure Centre on 14 March to watch one for their former pupils make his professional boxing debut.
Welterweight Ryan Martin, 19, who lives in Grange Park, stepped into the ring as part of the Kieth Mayo programme featuring Swindon super-middleweight Kelvin Young against Czech opponent Tomas Kugler at the top of the bill.
Alex Buchalick, Mark Godley and Chris Dobbs taught Ryan up to 2011 when he attended Greendown School. "We were really impressed by how Ryan has come on in his sport," said Chris. "He was up against Jason Nesbitt from Birmingham, who is over 20 years older and 7lbs heavier.
"Ryan rarely looked in trouble as his took the fight to his opponent with countless jabs, he was light on his feet and landed several good punches. He took every round, winning on points 60 to 55.
"Ryan has shown such determination and self motivation to realise his dream. He still holds several athletics records at Lydiard Park Academy; he’s one of the best athletes I’ve had the privilege of working with. Ryan is destined for bigger things, the sky is the limit now."
Ryan holds down a day job as a graphic designer and web developer with Artejano. Before his debut he told Swindonlink: “I need to have at least 10 bouts before I can even think of a title shot.
The former England school boy is managed by Keith Mayo is sponsored by Swindon companies Verelogic Group and Core Construction.
Photos by Richard Wintle of Calyx