Tommy Martin tastes defeat for the first time after thrilling title fight

Tommy Martin lands a punch during his fight against John Wayne Hibbert. Picture: RICHARD PELHAM

Tommy Martin lands a punch during his fight against John Wayne Hibbert. Picture: RICHARD PELHAM - Credit: Archant

Tommy Martin was defeated, but far from disgraced, in the biggest fight of his career last night.

The Huntingdonshire star was stopped in the final round of his Commonwealth and WBC International light-welterweight clash against friend-turned-for John Wayne Hibbert in London.

It meant a first defeat in 14 professional fights for the 21 year-old Martin, but he earned plenty of admirers in defeat at the Copper Box Arena.

He performed with passion at courage against his much older opponent until referee Victor Loughran waved the contest off with 80 seconds of the last round to go.

Martin mis-heard the count following a knockdown after taking a couple of big right-hand shots from Hibbert.

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Martin said: “I was counting in my head. I thought it was at seven and the ref said nine.

“I jumped straight back up, but he waved the fight off.

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“I’m gutted and frustrated that it ended that way and I’ll have to put it down to experience.

“We will definitely do it again.”

Martin earned high praise in defeat from rival Hibbert with both fighters appearing keen to clash again in the future.

The 31 year-old also admitted St Neots star Martin had him in plenty of trouble during a thrilling scrap.

Hibbert said: “The first thing I want to say is fair play to Tommy.

“What a fighter and I didn’t think he had those 12 rounds in him.

“I don’t mind admitting he hurt me and he proved he is here to stay in the light welterweight division.

“I will give Tommy a rematch in the future one million per cent.”

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