St Neots boxer Tommy Martin crowned English champion
- Credit: LAWRENCE LUSTIG
Proud-as-punch Tommy Martin says the English light-welterweight title is reward for all those who have believed in him.
The rising St Neots star’s dream became reality when he captured the vacant belt by out-pointing Ricky Boylan at the O2 Arena in London last Saturday night.
Not only did Martin become the first fighter from the town to claim an English title, he also became the youngest in history to win the national belt at just 20 years of age.
The three judges scored the contest 97-93, 97-93 and 99-92 in his favour as he delivered a fine display to extend his unbeaten record to 11 fights despite suffering from a bout of laryngitis and sustaining a mid-fight hand injury.
Martin said: “I promised I would win the title for all my family, friends and supporters and it is an unbelievable feeling to have done it.
You may also want to watch:
“My fans were absolutely unbelievable. They were the loudest in the entire arena and the emotion was incredible.
“I’m very religious and the most humble kid you will ever meet.
- 1 Over 100 modern slavery victims rescued in Cambridgeshire
- 2 'Loving, caring family man' dies in hospital weeks after A141 crash
- 3 Envar deny responsibility for county's fly invasion
- 4 Man jailed for historic sexual abuse 'convinced child victims it was normal behaviour'
- 5 Volunteers needed to support booster jabs programme
- 6 Appeal to Transport Secretary over Huntingdon Rail Station plan
- 7 Huntingdonshire parks awarded Green Flag status
- 8 'Plague' of flies in Huntingdonshire villages
- 9 Lisa Leader makes it to Germany for life prolonging treatment
- 10 Axe-wielding burglar smashed way into St Neots house
“This means so much and to learn I am the youngest-ever English champion is just a plus.
“I woke up on the morning of the fight with laryngitis and suffering chest pains. I think the TV cameras picked up me telling my corner I couldn’t breathe after the third round. From the first bell I just wanted to let Boylan find out I am not the baby he was claiming.
“It was time for him to eat some humble pie and it was a shame to hear him moaning about the scorecards. He is the sort of person who always has an excuse. If I had knocked him out in the first round he would have claimed I caught him cold. Now because I beat him on points he is having a pop at the judges. I simply spoke the truth in the build-up to the fight and backed it up in the ring.”
Martin insists he will not swerve any opponents with a first defence of the title being mooted for April by his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing.
He will have turned 21 by the time he steps back into the ring and added: “We will sit down with Eddie and see what offers are on the table.
“I’m not trying to rush anything. It was just a case of getting the opportunity to fight for the English title and taking it with both hands.
“I will defend the belt against a proper opponent. I’m not scared of fighting anyone.”
English title glory is not the only source of celebration for Martin. He proposed to girlfriend of two-and-a-half-years, Danielle Bailey, after whisking her off on holiday to Egypt. “All Danielle’s family have known about it for weeks,” confessed Martin. “And thankfully she gave me the answer I wanted.”