Hartlepool boxer Martin Ward deserves straight shot at Jazza Dickens’ British title

Martin Ward (right) listens to Summer Rumble promoter Phil Jeffries (second left) at the Stadium of Light
Martin Ward (right) listens to Summer Rumble promoter Phil Jeffries (second left) at the Stadium of Light

Martin Ward believes the British Boxing Board of Control should grant him a straight shot at the super-bantamweight belt.

The Hartlepool-trained boxer is frustrated to have been denied an English title fight with Leigh Wood at Sunday’s Summer Rumble at the Stadium of Light after the Yorkshire boxer pulled out.

It baffles me how lads call themselves fighters but then not fight

MARTIN WARD

Ward v Wood had more than just a good ring to it – it was also an eliminator for the British championship.

And, to add to Ward’s unhappiness, it was the second time in a matter of months that a title rival had pulled out – Ken’t’s Lewis Pettitt had withdrawn from an English title fight and British eliminator to concentrate on another route.

“It baffles me how lads call themselves fighters but then not fight,” said the 26-year-old. “Twice this year, the British Boxing Board of Control have nominated two boxers to fight me and both have pulled out

“If they are really injured then fair enough, but I’m not sure I believe that.

“I would like the BBBC to chuck this nonsense to one side and say ‘Martin Ward is next in line to fight for the British title’.

“For me, that is what they should do and hopefully that is what they will do and me and (British champion)Jazza Dickens get it on.

“I think I’m entitled to that. We’ve put in purse bids for two English title fights and both of them have fallen through.

“We want it and the others obviously don’t, so, in my view, it’s only fair we get moved on to the British title.”

Ward still wants to box at Sunday’s outdoor show at the Sunderland ground and hopes organisers can arrange a substitute opponent.

“They are on about bringing over a foreign fighter to box me, but that’s not easy,” said the Neil Fannan and Dave Garside boxer.

“They know my pedigree and there is a fair bit of footage of me on the internet and some are reluctant to fight me.

“I’m very disappointed but as Neil said I’m fit, I’ve trained hard and had some great sparring so I may as well fight.

“There is probably no sense in taking a break having done all the hard work. If they can get me an opponent I hope I can get in there, put on a good perormance and get the win.

“I have no choice but to bide my time but hopefully the Board will make the decision to give me a straight shot at Dickens.”