St Neots star Tommy Martin will play the ‘weighting’ game in quest for more success

Tommy Martin with the English light welterweight title he won last year. Picture: LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Tommy Martin with the English light welterweight title he won last year. Picture: LAWRENCE LUSTIG - Credit: Archant

Tommy Martin is back at work – at a new weight and with a new approach.

The St Neots star was back in the gym this week to launch the next chapter in his career a little more than a fortnight after his Commonwealth and WBC International light welterweight title bids ended in defeat.

Martin was beaten by John Wayne Hibbert in the final round of a huge domestic fight last month, but insists the first reverse on his 14-outing record has only made him more determined for success.

And it will come in the lightweight division with Martin and his team having concluded a drop into the 135lb category is the way forward.

His first foray into that section will come in an April comeback fight with his promoters, Matchroom Boxing, having major bills scheduled for London and Leeds during that month.

“We’ve all decided that fighting at lightweight is the best way to move forward,” said Martin, who is trained in London by Barry Smith.

“I’ve come in 3lbs under weight at light-welterweight for all my championship fights and that means I’m only 2lbs above lightweight. I can lose that in one hot bath.

Most Read

“I moved very quickly at light-welterweight and Barry says I’ve been too rash because I want success so badly. My team are telling me I must take my time in the new division, but being patient is a hard thing for me.

“I will have to climb the rankings again, but I’m just looking forward to getting back into the ring and we’ll take things from there.

“But lightweight is a very tough and busy division.

“Britain already has two world champions and another man fighting for a world title so hopefully there are lots of opportunities and excitement ahead.”

Martin captured two titles - the English and WBA Continental - during his stint in the light welterweight ranks, but missed out on further honours against Hibbert.

He still reflects on his performance in that fight with a mixture of pride and disappointment.

He went toe-to-toe with an opponent 10 years his senior until the contest was waved off with 80 seconds of the final round remaining after Martin mis-heard the count of referee Victor Loughran following a knockdown.

“The manner of the defeat, and not hearing the final bell, has really done my head in ever since the fight,” said Martin.

“It was an honour to be in such a cracking fight though against an unbelievable warrior in Wayne.

“He said he had never been hit that hard before and that makes me believe I can be really big and powerful at lightweight.”