By Elliot Foster
Jazza Dickens will face a familiar foe in his next fight – but will still fight for the British title.
The former champion, who began his campaign this calendar year with a stoppage in Manchester back in March, was due to face the champion Tommy Ward in his backyard.
But Ward has relinquished the belt in favour of a vacant IBF Inter-Continental eight-stone 10 championship contest against Spanish-based Romanian Ionut Baluta and Dickens will travel to Rainton Meadows Arena in Houghton-le-Spring to face Ward’s brother Martin.
The belt will be on the line when the pair clash on July 27, but the pair have already boxed once in the paid ranks.
Former WBA Super world super-bantamweight title challenger Dickens, 27, took on the older sibling at the same venue back in November 2015, winning by split decision, and the pair will fight again after the news of Tommy’s withdrawal.
The southpaws, old friends, fought out an absolute bloodbath as the Scouser made a successful maiden defence of his crown with scores of 116-113, 115-114 and 112-116.
Baluta, who will face the younger Ward on the same card, arrives as an unknown quantity for the show promoted by Dennis Hobson, in association with Dave Garside and Phil Jeffries.
The 24-year-old has boxed his entire career in Spain, where he boasts 10 wins and two losses and two quick finishes.