Ward wants to build on successful 2016

PUBLISHED: 11:52 18 January 2017

Martin J Ward (left) hits out against Ronnie Clark during the British super featherweight title bout at the SSE Arena, Wembley (pic Steven Paston/PA)

Martin J Ward (left) hits out against Ronnie Clark during the British super featherweight title bout at the SSE Arena, Wembley (pic Steven Paston/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Former Dagenham and Repton amateur ready for another title defence

West Ham prospect Charlie DriscollWest Ham prospect Charlie Driscoll

Martin J. Ward will look to build on his successful 2016 with a defence of his British super-featherweight title on the Eddie Hearn promotion in Manchester on March 25.

Ward, who launched his ring career as a Dagenham amateur, faces a third meeting with Maxi Hughes on a bill headed by Anthony Crolla’s WBA world lightweight title bid against Venezuelan Jorge Linares.

Unbeaten Ward drew over 10 rounds with Leeds rival Hughes at York Hall in December 2014, then travelled north four months later to halt his Leeds rival in five rounds.

Three wins since that defeat have earned the Yorkshire fighter a bid for the British title which 25-year-old Ward claimed and defended last year when he won all four of his championship contests.

The fighter is trained by Tony Sims at the Matchroom gym in Brentwood and aims to continue his winning run in 2017, starting with a win over old rival Hughes.

*Promoter Frank Warren faces a busy year with his Box Nation channel plus a new BT Sport contract and announces his first show at York Hall on February 25 with a Commonwealth title top liner.

Swansea’s unbeaten Jay Harris faces Sunderland-based champion Thomas Essomba in the main event, which is supported by popular Boy Jones Junior’s first Area featherweight title defence.

Winning prospects also booked for action on the York Hall bill include former West Ham amateur Charlie Driscoll, Lerrone Richards, Sanjeev Sahota, Billy Long and Archie Sharpe.

Harley Benn, son of ‘Dark Destroyer’ Nigel, makes his pro debut on a night when heavyweight Naylor Ball and super-middleweight Zak Chelli are also booked to launch paid careers.

n New promoter Tommy Dove stages a York Hall show on February 11, which includes prospects Barney Jones and Matty Parr, plus debutants John Harding and Billy Underwood.

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