St Neots boxer Tommy Martin relaxes after passing latest test with ‘flying colours’

12:22 12 March 2014

Tommy Martin relaxing with mates Connor Hall and Joe Bradbury. Picture: Helen Drake

Tommy Martin relaxing with mates Connor Hall and Joe Bradbury. Picture: Helen Drake

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Tommy Martin is relaxing with friends and family this week after putting himself in the frame for a title shot.

The St Neots boxer remains unbeaten after winning his seventh professional fight on Saturday in Peterborough and now the 19-year-old is looking forward to a shot at the big time.

“My management and trainers want me to have one more fight and then we will look at title level,” said Martin on Monday, after defeating experienced Newcastle boxer Dougie Curran with a shut out 60-54 points victory.

This was Martin’s first six-round bout and he told The Hunts Post: “I could have gone eight or 10 rounds. I was growing in the fight and I came out of it with bags of energy.

“We’ll probably do a four-rounder again and then hopefully, by the end of the year, we’ll go for it title-wise. Realistically, I would like to fight for a British Masters title by the end of the year.”

It’s almost as if Martin is straining at a leash. He is extremely confident, full of belief in his own ability, and desperate to make the next step in his career. The people around him have to hold him back and, at times, talk him down. But the lightweight is now a real contender after his latest fight, which was part of a spectacular show put on by his sponsors Junction 17 Cars and Vic’s Gym at the Cresset in Peterborough.

But, right now, it’s time to relax. A swollen hand has delayed the start of a stint of sparring with the Barry McGuigan-managed Irishman Carl Frampton. So time is being spent away from his London base, back in St Neots, where he is catching up on a bit of rest and relaxation following months of serious and intense training.

Mum Sharon wants her boy to give it all up – but she is extremely proud of him, even if watching his fights makes her feel sick.

“I was ringside in Peterborough,” she said. “But I didn’t watch because it made me feel physically sick. I just looked up when the round numbers were going round. I was counting them down. But we are so proud of him. We are so proud of all the hard work he puts in.”

Martin has been inundated with texts and phone calls following his latest success. He sold his full allocation of 200 tickets and his Team Gun fanbase is growing with every bout. He’s a superstar in the making and he’s impatient. But he’s still young. His time will come.

“Even without the knock-out that was my best performance to date,” he said, with a cheeky grin.

Months of training at Jonny Eames’ Trad TKO gym paid off and from start to finish it was a true battle royale, Curran using his experience to the full, pressuring the youngster throughout, and Martin showing the maturity of a seasoned pro. With each attack he kept his cool, boxed supremely well, and utilized his scintillating hand speed and stacked locker of combinations.

By mid-point Curran stepped up the professional work, but instead of intimidating the rookie, this had the opposite effect and Martin proved he could hold his own against a knowledgeable opponent and showed off a few moves of his own.

The final couple of rounds resembled an all-out war, making the previous rounds seem more like a mere skirmish, and it was Martin who came out on top with a shut out 60-54 points victory.

“I was over the moon with the way it went,” said Martin. “I was growing in the fight and I was happy and felt comfortable with the six rounds.

“The first round was a bit close but in the second I stepped it up and by the fourth round everyone thought I was going to knock him out. He was going but the bell just saved him.

“It was a big right hook I caught him with and an upper cut and he was on the verge of going down. In the fifth and sixth rounds I just scored off him.

“It was a brilliant fight for me – a good step up, it was my first six round fight and I passed the test with flying colours.”

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