Champion Tommy determined to keep on winning

Tommy Martin celebrating his English light-welterweight title win back in January. Picture: LAWRENCE

Tommy Martin celebrating his English light-welterweight title win back in January. Picture: LAWRENCE LUSTIG - Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG

St Neots star Tommy Martin is determined not to surrender his unbeaten record when returning to the ring on Friday night.

The English light-welterweight champion fights for the first time since capturing the title belt with a January points verdict over Ricky Boylan at the 02 Arena in London.

Martin takes on hometown fighter Terry Needham in a catchweight contest over eight rounds at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

The 21 year-old will enter the ring a couple of pounds over the 10 stone light-welterweight threshold while welterweight Needham will come in under the 10-and-a-half stone limit for his division.

“My undefeated record is really important to me and I don’t want to lose it,” said Martin.

“But it is not something that I am going to go out of my way to protect as I also want to be in great fights.

“This is a fight where I’ve got very little to gain and a lot to lose because I will be expected to win it.

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“My fitness is spot on and now it is a case of getting my tactics the same against a tricky opponent.

“Our styles are likely to clash but the onus is on me as an English champion to find a way to win fights like this.

“I can’t afford to be over-eager though. It is about being sensible, working things out and hopefully putting on a good show for my ‘Team Gun’ fans.

“I’m expecting to have around 150 people up in Liverpool cheering me on and their support means the world to me.”

Martin returned to his old school in the build-up to his fight against Needham.

He was invited to attend an awards evening at Longsands Academy in St Neots on Thursday where he spoke to GCSE PE pupils about his life in sport.

Martin added: “It was an absolute privilege to be asked to return to my old school as guest of honour.

“My speech received a great response from the children and their parents, and hopefully they can be inspired by what I’ve done.

“If I can influence just one child and help them onto the right path in life, I will be happy.

“The first round of the Boylan fight was played at the event and that brought the memories flooding back. It feels like five minutes ago, not five months.”

Martin’s first title defence has been pencilled in for September back at the 02 Arena in London.