BOXING: Tommy Martin is gunning for English title shot after win at O2

St Neots Boxer Tommy Martin, with his belt.

St Neots Boxer Tommy Martin, with his belt. - Credit: Archant

Tommy ‘Da Gun’ Martin overcame a bad hand injury to win his 10th professional fight in front of 20,000 boxing fans at the O2 Arena on Saturday night – and now the 20-year-old wants an English light welterweight title showdown with the Ely boxer Tyler Goodjohn.

Martin and Goodjohn were on the same bill at the weekend – with both winning the chance to fight for the same English title.

And Martin knows exactly where his Team Gun fans would like that fight to be when he can persuade 23-year-old Goodjohn’s people to make the match.

“I don’t see why we couldn’t do it in Cambridge, it would be a massive fight,” he said. “But Goodjohn doesn’t seem to want to get it on.”

Martin earned the right to fight for the title by beating 31-year-old Southampton boxer Matty Tew on the undercard of the massive Anthony Joshua fight against Denis Bakhtov.

Martin turned profressional just under two years ago and has quickly made a name for himself, even signing for one of the world’s leading boxing promotors Eddie Hearns in June, which is why he is now showing off his magic to crowds of 20,000 plus. But the boxer put his hand through a window at his East London training base in the run up to the fight and almost didn’t get the chance to shine.

“I didn’t tell anyone but I had to go to hospital and they did surgery on my hand. I had cut a couple of veins and skinned a tendon and I was in hospital for two nights.

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“I had a week of doing just fitness work and I reckon I was only 70 per cent fit when I got into the ring.

“We had planned that I would take it easy and that’s what I did – and the more I stuck to my boxing, the more it was working.

After an even first round, Martin’s renowned accuracy gave him the edge and in the second he began to gain control – though a straight body shot from Tew had him crumpled on the ropes and the referee mistakenly judged it to be a knock down.

Martin wasn’t frustrated for long and in the sixth session Martin’s jab worked beautifully to bloody Tew’s nose.

Early in the seventh round the referee called the fight off and gave the bout to Martin.

He said: “The referee apologised, said he realised he had made a mistake, but had to carry on counting. I told him I didn’t touch the canvas.

“In the sixth round Tew was saved by the bell. In the seventh round I came straight out and smashed him to pieces.

“It was awesome. I can’t explain how it feels to walk out in front of 20,000 people – and to have Sky Sports show my best performance yet ... it was awesome.”

Martin is now back in St Neots, and taking it easy with friends and family – but he is already champing at the bit and planning Monday morning’s first training session back in London.

“I need to work on my mistakes with my team,” he said. “And next is the English light welterweight title - I do want a new bit of bling.”