A former Marine who took everything Chris Eubank jr could throw at him is ripping off his gloves to fight bareknuckle.
Ryan Barrett fights on the pay-per-view show on Friday, November 27 has proved his toughness during his amateur boxing career and in sparring.
He headed down to Brighton around seven years ago for a spar he hasn’t forgotten.
“I was home on leave from the Middle East,” said the 35 year old from Coalville, “and (coach) Neil (Linford) took me down to the Eubanks’ gym in Brighton.
“There are levels in boxing, and obviously, Eubank was levels above me, but I landed some good shots – until I ran out of steam!
“It got hard after that!
“I kept getting asked: ‘Do you want another round ?’ and I kept saying: ‘Yes’ – and I kept getting battered.
“I stayed on my feet and when we finally finished, he said: ‘Most people wouldn’t have taken that. They would have quit.’”
Barrett remembers having to prove himself the first time he walked into a boxing gym.
Chris Pyatt ran a gym in Leicester city centre and Barrett remembers the first time he met the former WBO middleweight champion.
He said: “I had I just got out of the Marines and had got a job working in customer services. I went into the gym wearing glasses, a shirt, and a tie.
“Chris just said to me: ‘This isn’t for you, mate.’
“But I paid for my subs kept going back, and then he chucked me into spar (future English super-middleweight champion) Jahmaine Smyle.
“I got absolutely battered, but I stayed in there until the end.”
Barrett had a tough night in his amateur career against super-heavyweight Richard Towers and his next challenge is in the bareknuckle boxing ring.
On his debut, he’s matched with Matty Hodgson, who’s won four of his five fights.
“I’m not here to mess about,” said Barrett. “His name is out there, and beating him gets my name out there.”