Ward brothers face more frustration on super-bantamweight scene

Tommy Ward (left) with his brother Martin.
Tommy Ward (left) with his brother Martin.

Hopes that the Ward brothers may end 2016 as super-bantamweight champions are beginning to fade, writes Roy Kelly.

The West Rainton boxers have set their sights on ‘doing a Klitschko’ and holding titles in the same division.

Tommy Ward is line for a tilt at the British crown, while elder sibling, Martin, is in the mix at European level.

Coach Neil Fannan and manager Dave Garside though are growing frustrated that no opportunities have been set in stone, certainly at British level.

Fannan said that he expected progress on the domestic front when the British Boxing Board of Control met for their monthly meeting in Cardiff.

“I think I’ve been misled,” shrugged the trainer.

“I was led to believe the title situation would be resolved, but it hasn’t.

“I think the Board are like politicians, say one thing, but then do another.”

Jazza Dickens is the reigning champion and should have put it on the line by now, given his last defence was back in November, ironically against Martin Ward in Houghton when he won via a split decision.

“His six months were up in May,” said Fannan. “He got an extension because he was due to fight for the European title, which is fair enough.

“What’s Tommy supposed to do in the meantime? He’s a professional boxer and deserves his chance to earn money and fight for titles.

“If Jazza relinquished his title, it’s not like he’d never get another chance – he’d be made mandatory challenger to whoever won it.”

There is more encouraging news for Martin who, like Tommy fought on the Summer Rumble at the Stadium of Light, winning a six-round bout.

He has been made mandatory challenger for the EU title after champ Jeremy Parodi vacated.

The Frenchman is to meet Spain’s Abigail Medina for the European title in the autumn and Fannan hopes Martin, rated as number four in Europe, will get to tackle the winner.

“The European Board have Martin installed for the EU title but they have not picked an opponent.

“We’re hoping they will order the winner of Parodi and Medina to defend against Martin.

“Both our lads deserve and need the big fights.”