Manager Dave Garside says James Jazza Dickens needs to fight with a boxing glove on his head, ahead of the Liverpudlian’s rematch with Martin Ward at the Rainton Meadows Arena on July 27.
County Durham’s Ward faces Dickens, 23-3 (8), for the British Super Bantamweight Title live on Freesports (Freeview 95, Freesat 252, Sky 422, BT 95, Talk Talk 95), and the war of words between the southpaws’ camps is heating up ahead of the highly-anticipated clash.
Martin, 26-4-1 (5), and Jazza originally squared off in 2015 for the same title, with Dickens edging a close encounter via a split decision verdict. That contest was a bloody affair, with Martin having to veer from his game plan after suffering serious lacerations from head clashes.
Cuts aren’t a new thing for Ward, either. The West Rainton man also saw his 2014 IBF World Bantamweight Title challenge to Darlington’s Stuart Hall called off after just two rounds when another head clash ended his title hopes.
A former Commonwealth champion, Martin has fallen short previously to Lee Haskins for the British Bantamweight Title in 2013, and was recently stopped in two rounds by Abigail Medina in an EBU European Super Bantamweight Title challenge.
Sharing top billing on the card will be Martin’s brother Tommy, 23-0 (3), who took the British belt off Dickens in May 2017, before recently vacating. The 24-year-old is now concentrating on the world stage and, originally slated to fight Ionut Baluta, now fights for the vacant IBF European Super Bantamweight Title against Spain’s Alvaro Rodriguez, 8-1-1 (1).
Former heavyweight contender Garside, who manages the Ward brothers, believes there will be no slip-ups and is eyeing a win-double for both men on July 27.
“Martin’s first fight with Jazza could have gone either way,” said Garside, who fought for the British Heavyweight Title in 1987. “Martin was cut and had to box totally different to how he normally boxes. It was also Martin’s first fight at super bantamweight, he’s a lot stronger now, and I suspect you’ll see a different Martin Ward in there. He will have learnt from that first fight and I’m very confident. I have a lot of faith in Martin.
“Jazza is a good fighter but if you look at the last few people he’s boxed, they’ve all ended up with multiple stitches and that’s through use of the head. I just hope the ref is going to look after the fighters properly. He’s a nice kid is Jazza Dickens, but he needs to have a boxing glove on his head! We have to take the rough with the smooth, but I am confident that Martin will win this time.
“When you look at Tommy Ward against Jazza, Tommy never lost a round. People said Jazza was coming back, but all Jazza did was butt him in the face and cut his head. Jazza was completely out boxed for the first seven rounds; it was very one-sided. Tommy has his man-strength now, he’s not a boy any more, and he’s sitting down on his shots a lot more. He’s a beautiful boxer. I’m not really concerned about his opponent on the 27th; I have every faith in Tommy.”