European champion Ward is looking to take next step on path towards world title shot

PUBLISHED: 14:00 13 March 2018

Super-featherweight Martin J Ward will defend his European title against Irish rival James Tennyson – who puts his WBA International belt on the line – at the O2 Arena on May 5.

Ward landed the vacant title in style in December in London by stopping Spaniard Juli Giner inside six rounds, adding to his British and Commonwealth awards.

Now the 26-year-old, who launched his ring career as a Dagenham BC schoolboy, aims for a 20th victory on his unbeaten march to challenge for world honours.

Tennyson, 24, ranked number four in the WBA after landing the International title in June when he stopped Ryan Doyle in six rounds on home soil, defended that title when halting Darren Traynor four months later.

“I’ve gone the traditional route and I’m happy I’ve done that,” said Ward.

“I’m proud to be European champion so this is a good start to 2018 for me after a brilliant year last year.

“I want to progress onto the world stage now. I’ve won everything there is to win and when I beat James, I want to start working towards getting to world-level.

“I leave the path down to the team but I believe I am ready now and I’ll prove that on May 5.”

Ward and Tennyson clash on a big show screened on Sky Sports as bitter heavyweight rivals Tony Bellew and David Haye meet in a rematch.

*Cruiserweight Mark Little, coached by Dagenham trainer Paul Cook, looks for his seventh straight victory on the Hayemaker bill at York Hall on Saturday facing Croatian Tomislav Rudan.

His contest supports top cruiserweight clashes featuring British champion Matty Askin and Southern Area titleholder Wadi Camacho plus heavyweight prospect and Olympic medalist Joe Joyce at York Hall.

West Ham United fan Little will be donating part of his purse to the charity fund to get young cancer patient Isla Caton treatment in the United States.

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