Tommy Martin out to follow up one fantastic year with another

Tommy Martin after becoming WBA Continental Super Lightweight champion. Picture: LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Tommy Martin after becoming WBA Continental Super Lightweight champion. Picture: LAWRENCE LUSTIG - Credit: Archant

2015 has been a hell of a year for Huntingdonshire boxing sensation Tommy Martin – but he wants 2016 to be even better.

The unbeaten puncher won three fights and captured two belts this year.

He became the youngest English champion in history back in January when winning the light-welterweight strap at the age of 20 courtesy of a points triumph over Ricky Boylan.

Martin vacated that title without making a defence to move onto bigger and better things - a career path rewarded by WBA Continental Super Lightweight glory in September when he stopped Michael Devine.

Those triumphs sandwiched another success over Terry Needham in Liverpool.

And Martin already has his sights set on more gold as he prepares to face John Wayne Hibbert for the Commonwealth and WBC Super Lightweight titles in the biggest fight of his career next month.

Martin takes on Hibbert at the Copper Box Arena in London on January 30 - almost a year to the day of his success over Boylan.

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“This has been an exciting and busy year,” said Martin. “I’ve won titles and earned the biggest fight of my career so far.

“I just wish it was tomorrow, but I’ve got to wait until the end of next month to get back in the ring, win two more belts and make sure 2016 is better than 2015.

“I’ll be ranked eighth in the world when I win that fight and I’m a man on a mission. I want to be in a position to challenge for world honours in 2017.

“I’ve said many times that I don’t want to be in this game for a long time. I’m here to be successful, to set myself up for life and to be able to enjoy the things I’ve worked so hard for.”

Martin boasts an unblemished 13-fight record featuring five knockouts and he will not even allow himself to have Christmas Day off as he goes in pursuit of victory number 14.

He will train before tucking into a small helping of turkey as he builds up to his big showdown against Hibbert.

Martin added: “I trained on Christmas Day last year when I was preparing to fight Ricky Boylan for the English title. I won that fight so I will stick to the same plan this year. If it is not broken, don’t fix it!

“Of course I will enjoy a bit of Christmas dinner, but January 31 is the big day for me.”

Martin was due to step up his preparations with two days of sparring against world super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton this week.

He has recently returned from a training stint in Malta and will be jetting out to the famed MGM gym in Marbella in the new year.

He has already sold 500 tickets with his army of Team Gun fans set to take over the Copper Box Arena for the Hibbert battle.

“Such great support means the world to me,” he continued. “We’re on this journey together.”