MARTIN Ward is to fight Leigh Wood in a British super-bantamweight title eliminator at the Stadium of Light.
Promoter Phil Jeffries has won the purse bids for the contest and will stage it, in association with Dave Garside, at the Summer Rumble at Sunderland’s football ground on Sunday, July 5.
It is great news for the 27-year-old – and his team – to be closing in on a shot at the British super-bantam crown after making a step up in divisions.
Ward had won the Commonwealth title at 8st 6lbs and also challenged for Stuart Hall’s IBF belt, only for his world dream to be cruelly halted by a badly cut eye.
But the Neil Fannan-trained southpaw believes those extra four pounds at super-bantam will make a difference and has the chance to prove it.
Wood will be a formidable opponent – he has already fought for the Lonsdale Belt.
The boxer, known as “Leigh-thal” started well against Doncaster’s Gavin McDonnell at Hull in February 2014 only for the 26-year-old to fade and get was stopped in the sixth round.
But the Nottingham boxer has come back impressively with three straight stoppage wins.
“I’m thrilled to have won the purse bids for this fight,” said Jeffries.
“In my view it will be a classic for the Summer Rumble. Martin is a class operator and Leigh fancies his chances.
“So let’s see who’s going to go on to fight Jazza Dickens.”
Wood has 14 wins and rhat sole McDonnell defeat in a 15-fight log, while Ward has been beaten just twice in 24 outings.