Ward brothers warm up in comfort for British, European title challenges

Martin Ward on his way to victory
Martin Ward on his way to victory
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The Ward brothers warmed up for their summer assaults on major championship challenges in smooth fashion at Houghton.

West Rainton’s Tommy and Martin enjoyed effortless six-round points wins over Baltic opposition.

Younger sibling Tommy, who will have a crack at British super-bantamweight king Jazza Dickens in Leeds on May 13, controlled matters throughout against Simas Volosinas, from Lithuania.

Referee Andrew Wright marked it a 60-54 shut-out.

So did Steve Hawkins when he took charge of Martin’s match against Latvia’s Dimitrijs Gutmans.

Trainer Neil Fannan said: “I was happy when the final bell went in both fights.

“When Volosinas started the way he did, I said to myself ‘Neil, why did you get him a warm-up?’.

“But Tommy said he wanted to be on the show and I suppose from a boxer’s perspective, you train to fight.

“He looked well and I was just pleased at the final bell that there were no cuts, no injury.”

It was the 22-year-old’s 20th win while Martin clinched victory number 25.

The 28-year-old needed the minutes inside the ropes, having not fought since the Stadium of Light last July.

Martin, who is due to face reigning European super-bantamweight champion Abigail Medina, won at a canter.

Ward’s southpaw right jab connected with Gutmans at will, landing with numerous left to the body, the final two rounds proving his best.

“Martin knew he needed a work-out and he got what he wanted,” said Fannan. “It’s understandable he was a bit rusty, given how long he’s been out.”

Elsewhere on the Phil Jeffries-promoted 10-bout card, there were KO wins for Peterlee debutant Chris Wallace against Vinny Atkins and dynamite Darren Surtees, from Thornley, needed just 34 seconds to stop Chris Adaway.