Martin Ward can pull off his Klitschko ‘job’

Boxer Martin Ward at Hartlepool's Borough Hall. Picture by STU NORTON
Boxer Martin Ward at Hartlepool's Borough Hall. Picture by STU NORTON

Tommy Ward has pulled off his half of the bargain – now he is looking for brother, Martin, to follow suit.

For the last year, the Ward brothers have dreamed about ‘doing a Klitschko’ and ruling the same division.

The siblings, trained in Hartlepool by Neil Fannan and managed by town fight figure Dave Garside, are both going for glory in the super-bantamweight category.

Tommy clinched the British title seven days ago when he beat Jazza Dickens at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.

Next, it’s Martin’s turn as he challenges for the European title in Hartlepool where he takes on champion Abigail Medina on Friday, July 21.

The most famous tale of brotherly domination in the fight game belongs to the Klitchkos.

From July 2011 to December 2013, all the major recognised heavyweight belts were in possession of Vitali and Wladimir.

Around 10 stones down the line are the Wards, who are looking in the form of their lives.

And Martin will need to produce it if he is to dethrone the European champion.

Medina has been beaten only three times in a 22-bout career, completing eight of his 17 victories inside the distance.

The 28-year-old lifted the vacant crown in December when he outpointed Jeremy Parodi in Gran Canaria.

“He has a hard fight in front of him,” he said.

“I’ve watched Medina, he’s tough, game and strong and he likes to come forward.

“But I believe if Martin doesn’t get involved in a fight, which he sometimes likes to, and sticks to his boxing, I have no doubt he can become European champion.”

The senior Ward, one year older than champion Medina at 29, will be taking part in his sixth title contest.

The elder Ward has not been shy of success, winning the English and Commonwealth crowns down at bantamweight.

A badly cut eye ruined his bid to be the IBF world champion against Stuart Hall and his crack at the British super-bantam title in October 2015 turned into a bloodbath, ironically against Dickens, losing on a split decision.

But since the narrow loss to the Scouser, Martin has reeled off three straight as he waited for the European title chance to materialise.

And Tommy says he has first-hand experience of how good a shape Martin is in.

“The rounds I had sparring with Martin were harder than the fight I had with Jazza last Saturday,” said Tommy.