It’s Liverpool v Hartlepool as boxer Martin Ward gets crack at Jazza Dickens’ British title

Martin Ward (right)
Martin Ward (right)

Martin Ward and his team spoke – and the British Boxing Board of Control have listened.

The Hartlepool boxer has been made the mandatory challenger for Jazza Dickens British super-bantamweight title.

Martin is a class act and I believe he’s in his prime so we’re looking forward to this chance


Both Ward and coach Neil Fannan this week appealed for the chance after two eliminators fell through, the most recent being at the Summer Rumble last Sunday when Leigh Wood cried off their English championship match which was due top the bill at the Summer Rumble.

The promoter of the Stadium of Light show, Phil Jeffries, wrote to the BBBC, who have responded by making Ward the mandatory challenger.

Coach Neil Fannan told SportMail: “Top marks to Jaffa – he wrote to the Board on Monday and last night they came back and said ‘Martin is the mandatory challenger’.

“Our thanks go to Board member Fred Potter, who supported our cause.

“I do believe it is the correct decision.Martin has had terrible luck, having two lads pull out of eliminators.

“I just hope Jazza turns up because I think he is the mandatory challenger for the European title – they might see a fight with Martin as too risky.

“But we’re just over the moon that the fight has been given the go-ahead.

“Whatever happens, he can’t be overlooked.

“Martin has had a lot of misfortune but we did feel he was the man most worthy of a shot at Jazza’a title.

“He’s boxed for three main titles at bantam, the British, Commonwealth and World and he’s only lost one.

“Martin is a class act and I believe he’s in his prime so we’re looking forward to this chance.

“Purse bids open next month and I’d like to think Martin will be fighting for it in October.”

Both boxers possess very similar records – Ward has been beaten just twice in 24 outings and Dickens only once in 20. The Scouser won the vacant British super-bantam crown back in March in his native Liverpool, taking a unanimous points verdict against Yorkshire’s Josh Wale.

Fannan says he has the utmost respect for the 24-year-old title holder.

“He’s very good,” said the coach, who has guided the Ward career from the start, alongside manager Dave Garside. “I rate him highly.

“He comes from Neil Marsh’s camp and their group are absolutely flying at the moment. But it’s great news for Martin and we’ll be confident.”