Hartlepool and East Durham boxers domimnate bumper Houghton show

Boxer Anth Hardy working out in the gym. Picture by FRANK REID
Boxer Anth Hardy working out in the gym. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool and East Durham boxing will dominate the bill when Rainton Meadows Arena stages a bumper show this weekend.

Ten of the 11 scheduled bouts at the Houghton venue this Saturday will feature fighters from Hartlepool or Peterlee. The title-seeking Ward brothers are the main attractions.

The Phil Jeffries-promoted event was originally to have Martin Ward’s challenge for the vacant European Union title against Cristian Rodriguez as the top of the bill affair.

However, that fell through after the Spanish fighter was ruled out following disciplinary charges.

The European Boxing Union instead promoted Ward into a fight for their flagship title against the continent’s reigning super-bantamweight champion Abigail Medina.

While awaiting a date and venue, Martin will get a run-out at Rainton Meadows against Latvian Dimitrijs Gutmans over six rounds.

The 28-year-old needs the ring-time, having not taped up his gloves since the Stadium of Light last July.

Younger brother Tommy will also get six rounds at the show, taking on Simas Volosinas, from Lithuania.

Stablemate, Daniel Cope, fights for the first time since winning the Northern Area title when he boxes Midlands veteran Kevin McCauley over four rounds.

Gus Robinson Developments have three boxers on the promotion in four-round contests. One of the intriguing fights of the night involves Anth Hardy.

The 24-year-old faces the wily William Warburton. It is a tough comeback for Hardy following a year out – while his Manchester opponent’s record is a poor one, when he fancies the job he is a very dangerous figure.

Super-middleweight Greg O’Neil, who has not fought for three years, has an unknown quantity in the opposite corner, Lithuanian Zygimantas Butkevicius, who is making his pro debut.

Richard O’Neill, the third member of the Gus Robinson triumvirate, also face a new boxer, Callum Ide, from Bognor Regis.

Dave Binns’ Peterlee camp have four fighters in action, including another debutant, Chris Wallace, a talented former amateur. No opponent has been named yet.

Unbeaten stablemates Darren Surtees, from Thornley, and Crimdon’s Jay Hughes are also in action in four-rounders.

Surtees, who boasts five wins from five, faces Plymouth’s Chris Adaway, while Hughes, with three straight victories under his belt, meets Russ Midgley, from Leeds.

Sunderland cruiserweight Warren Baister, the final member of Binns’s fab four, tops the bill against Cameroon’s former Olympian Christian Adjoufack.