The rematch between Liverpool’s James Jazza Dickens and County Durham’s Martin Ward at the Rainton Meadows Arena on July 27 is now off, with Ward sidelined by a hand injury.
The show still goes ahead though and is topped by Martin’s brother, Tommy, 23-0 (3), in an IBF European Super Bantamweight Title fight against Spain’s Alvaro Rodriguez, 8-1-1 (1).
Ward and Dickens were due to fight for the vacant British Super Bantamweight Title, having previously contested the belt in 2015. Jazza was the champion then, beating Martin on a split-decision in a thrilling encounter, and fans were looking forward to the second installment.
Promoter Dennis Hobson, who is staging the show alongside Dave Garside and Phil Jeffries, is naturally disappointed with Ward’s withdrawal but says the new main event will still be great viewing, and is hopeful the scuppered headliner can be rearranged.
“I got a call from Neil Fannan, Martin’s trainer, to say he’d got a problem with his hand and that the fight was doubtful. We’ve informed Jazza and have been looking around to see if we can find a suitable replacement that would be passed by the Board for a British Title fight, but it’s very doubtful we’ll be able to match him at such short notice.
“The show will still go on though, there’s some good kids on the undercard and topping the bill will be Thomas Ward, who is world ranked and will be pushing up the rankings if he comes through this fight for the IBF European belt.
“It’s always disappointing when a fighter pulls out with injury, especially at this late stage, but it’s boxing and just really unfortunate. I was really looking forward to it because it was a great fight first time around, and both have put a lot into their preparation ahead of this show already. Hopefully we’ll be able to reschedule; we’ll see what shows we have coming up in the next few months, and see if we can get it on one of those.
“Like I say though, Tommy Ward will still be topping the bill; he’s a world class fighter and people will still be able to see him live and free on Freesports.”