Home help for Martin Ward in British title tilt against Dickens

Martin Ward lands a left against Simas Volosnas (left)
Martin Ward lands a left against Simas Volosnas (left)
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Neil Fannan believes West Rainton fighter Martin Ward is “approaching his prime” and ready to deliver his greatest triumph.

Ward has been handed home advantage for his challenge for the British super-bantamweight championship.

Promoter Phil Jeffries has won the purse bids for the fight against defending champ Jazza Dickens and will stage it at Rainton Meadows Arena in Houghton on Friday, November 20.

Ward will be up against a fellow southpaw and a top-notch performer in Dickens.

But Fannan says he and manager Dave Garside are confident their ring-master can call the tune against the Scouser.

“I do rate Dickens highly,” said Fannan. “He’s a good fighter, from a good camp – his trainer Neil Marsh and his group is flying at the moment.

“But I do believe we still haven’t seen the best of Martin yet.

“I still think he’s approaching his prime and I’m very excited to see him in this fight.

“Martin’s a class act, but I’m looking forward to seeing him test because when he’s tested I think we’ll see him at his best.”

Ward has lost only twice in 24 contests and boasts the English and Commonwealth bantam crowns in his collection and a IBF World title tilt against Darlington’s Stuart Hall which ended in a technical draw after one round following a badly-cut eye to the challenger.

Dickens has been beaten just once in 21 appearances, winning the vacant British crown with a tough 12-round battle in his native Liverpool against Yorkshire’s Josh Wale.

The 24-year-old had home advantage that night, but not on this occasion after Jeffries and Fannan put in a winning bid. “I’m over the moon,” said Jeffries. “Martin has had no luck this year with lads pulling out of English title bouts.

“Justice was done when the British Boxing Board of Control made him the mandatory challenger for Jazza Dickens’ title.

“I said then I’d do my level best to bring the contest to the North East and I was very happy when the Board contacted me to say our purse bid won it.”