Stan “The Man” Martyniouk believes he’s a pretty good fighter. His record of 13 wins in 15 bouts bears that out.
But his eight-year professional career has been dogged by inactivity. He fought only once in 2014--dropping a disputed split decision to undefeated prospect Ivan Najero.
Martyniouk, 29, has been called a prospect for years. His amateur career began at age fourteen. He engaged in 85 fights, eventually winning a bronze medal at the 2007 National Golden Gloves Championships.
He turned professional a year later and won his first ten fights, until he was upset by Khadaphi Proctor. A little over two years ago, Martyniouk started working with highly-respected trainer, Virgil Hunter.
Their paring was good for three wins in four fights, but a few months ago, Martyniouk and Hunter parted ways.
“Right now I’m not working with Virgil,” Martyniouk told this writer via email a few weeks ago. “He’s busy training top-level fighters. So, I brought my dad back because I need that one-on-one attention. He is also is making me better since he knows me the best.
“I believe having him in my corner will get me back to being victorious in the ring. I am also training at Undisputed Boxing Gym with Mike Bazzel and Brian Schwartz.”
Last year it was announced that six-division champion Manny Pacquiao would be fighting Chris Algieri in Macao, China. Team Pacquiao was on the lookout for sparring partners who could emulate the stick-and-move boxing style of Algieri.
While in Los Angeles sparring, Martyniouk ran into Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach.
Roach asked Martyniouk if he’d like to travel to the Philippines to work with Pacquiao.
Martyniouk jumped at the chance.
The experience was incredibly rewarding.
“Being part of the team that prepared Manny Pacquiao was great,” said Martyniouk. “I got a chance to see with my own two eyes how the best fighter in the world gets ready for a fight. It was definitely great motivation.
"We also had nothing to do but train and stay focused. It was a very positive environment. We all worked together and helped each other out,” he said.
"On the days we didn’t spar, Freddie Roach worked with me on the mitts and taught me some new things.” he continued. "The days we did spar were very intense. I felt like I was in a real fight. Manny (Pacquiao) brought out the best in me. When Manny won, I felt like I was won as well.”
The Sacramento, CA. resident, who was born in Talinn, Estonia, watched Pacquiao very closely.
“He trains very hard and puts in some hard work,” Martyniouk said. “He listens very well to his coach. He has tremendous speed and is very accurate with his punches. But most of all, he believes in himself. He is also a very humble person and always made sure everyone was taken care of.”
Martyniouk feels that working with Pacquiao has helped him improve as a boxer.
"I think me being in camp with him has made me a better fighter,” said Martyniouk. “I learned that I have to believe in my skills. They will take me a long way. Manny also told me I am really fast and have good hand speed. His comments made me feel good. I have grown a lot as a fighter.
Martyniouk thought he had a fight lined up two months ago, but as often happens, especially in Northern California, the match was cancelled. Unless a boxer is promoted by someone like Golden Boy, the matchmaking can leave a lot to be desired. The smaller promotional companies don’t have the time, or money, to build a fighter’s career.
So Martyniouk waits.
“I’m in the gym training, staying active, waiting for my manager to call me with a fight date,” Martyniouk said. “I will now be fighting at one hundred forty pounds. I feel a lot stronger at that weight. I punch harder. My hand speed is still there. So look out. I will be making a lot of noise very soon.
“I just hope I get another shot to prove to everyone that I belong here," he said. "I need to win my next few fights and sign with a big promoter, so I can be more active and climb up the rankings. I really hope I get my opportunity.”