MARTIN Ward will join brother Tommy on the big North East fight show at the end of this month.
The West Rainton boxer had told the Echo last month that he planned to make his first appearance since his world title heartache by fighting at Gateshead on Saturday, November 29.
It meant that the Ward brothers were split up for the first time as professionals, with Tommy lined up to box on the Phil Jeffries-promoted event in Houghton the followiong day.
But Jeffries has announced that Martin will join the impressive castlist at the Rainton Meadows Arena for a Sunday afternoon spectacular.
The elder Ward has been out of the ring since March, when a badly-cut eye ended his challenge for Stuart Hall’s IBF bantamweight belt at the Metro Radio Arena.
Since then he has abdicated as Commonwealth champion to move up to super-bantam, while younger brother Tommy has moved up to 10 straight wins.
“I’m delighted to have Martin on the bill,” Jeffries told the Echo.
“He’s not boxed since he fought Stuey Hall for the world title in March and he’s excited to be returning on this show.
“Martin is now going to be campaigning at super-bantam and he’ll have a meaningful fight at Rainton Meadows, probably over eight rounds.
“It was already a bit of a feast of boxing and a double helping of the Wards makes it even better.”
Jeffries will spearhead the show with three of his powerhouse Sunderland stable of Glenn Foot, Kirk Goodings and Jonson McClumpha.
Foot is having a six-round contest as a build-up to an English welterweight title challenge against Ahmet Patterson.
Jeffries hopes to win the purse bids for the Foot-Patterson showdown which looks set for the new year.
The Turkish-born East Dulwich fighter, known as “Punch Picker” has, like Foot, won all 13 of his contests.
Also in action at the Houghton venue will be former Olympian Thomas Essomba, Castle Eden-based Lynden Watt, Neil Hepper, Mohammed Waqas, Simon Vallily and James Barnes.