By Elliot Foster, photo by Lawrence Lustig
Martin Joseph Ward is now a three-title champion after a stoppage win in London.
The super-featherweight, who won the British title outright earlier this year and also holds the Commonwealth crown, claimed the vacant European belt at London’s famous York Hall venue.
Ward came up against Spain’s Juli Giner, the former titlist, and knocked him down twice in the sixth round of their 12-round battle, exclusively live on Sky Sports, as part of the undercard to Katie Taylor’s WBA female lightweight title defence against Jessica McCaskill.
An end was called midway through the sixth after referee Massimo Barrovecchio had seen enough.
“It caps off the best year I’ve had as a professional. I’m blessed and I’ve now got to pinch myself to make sure that it’s real,” Ward, 26, told Sky Sports afterwards.
“I knew when I hit him in the round that it finished in that it was over. I’m over the moon and I stuck to my shape and the game plan to get the win against a guy who went eight rounds against Miguel Roman.
“I’m willing to move on now and fight anybody, but I’ll leave it to my team and I’m waiting to get into the mix in a big way.”
His promoter Eddie Hearn revealed earlier this week that he would like to make Ward versus Stephen Smith, the previous mandatory challenger to the European title, for all three titles in 2018, providing Smith’s ear heals after his horrific injury suffered against Francisco Vargas at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas last weekend.
And though Ward says he is ready to move up the ladder, it is expected that he will have at least one defence of the belt and it could well come against the Liverpudlian.