Martin Ward faces tough French test in boxing ring

MARTIN Ward “demanded” a tough opponent when he tops the bill at a big Tyneside show – and he has got his wish.

Ward is the headline act at the Lancastrian Suite at Dunston’s Fed Brewery in Gateshead a week tomorrow against France’s Omar Lamiri.

The 23-year-old had been preparing for an English bantamweight championship challenge in St Helens on March 31.

But the clash with Craig Lyon was called off after the Merseyside fighter suffered cuts during a warm up contest.

Ward’s coach Neil Fannan asked North-East promoter Phil Jeffries to add the former world cadet championship silver medallist to the show he was staging in Gateshead.

But the boxer had one request – no easy opponent.

“We all want the fight to mean something,” Fannan told SportMail.

“We want a contest so Martin can prove himself to be as good as any bantamweight in this country.

“Martin demanded a hard fight – he wanted someone who would want to come to try to bash him about.

“He wants a real fight, one in which he can show people what he can do.”

SEE Friday’s Mail for full story