Phil Jeffries could never be accused of resting on his laurels.
Just weeks after staging the North East’s biggest ever professional boxing bill, the promoter from Sunderland goes from strength to strength with the announcement that his next show, on September 30 at the Hartlepool Borough Hall, will be topped by the English bantamweight title fight between County Durham’s Martin Ward and Former Champion Jason Booth.
This much anticipated contest was due to headline the record breaking ‘Summer Rumble 2’ show at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on July 15 but had to be postponed after Martin suffered an injury during training. Ward will want to shine against Booth as he finally gets the chance to win his first belt and move into British title contention.
Southpaw Ward, one of the North East’s brightest prospects’, has only lost once in 16 bouts but will face a real test against his Nottingham opponent. Jason Booth but enters the contest with some excellent experience under his belt, having been the former European ,British title Holder,who boxed for a world title in Sunderland
“This is going to be a tough test for Martin,” said Jeffries, father of former Olympian Tony, “but if he is going to go as far in boxing as we all believe he can then it’s a fight he must win.”
Hartlepool’s former British and European super-bantamweight champion, Michael Hunter, has had the Borough Hall rocking over the years with some great performances and will want to produce more of the same as he heads up a quality undercard. Hunter (pictured), who fought for the world title at the Hall in 2006, will be having his second bout after coming out of retirement earlier this year, and with Jeffries looking to promote around the region in the future this could well be Hunter’s last appearance in his hometown.
Another Hartlepool favourite, Peter Cope, will also be on the card just weeks after stealing the show at ‘Summer Rumble 2’ with his win over Gavin Reid. Unbeaten ‘Copey’ picked up the International Masters super-bantamweight title with his gutsy performance against Redcar’s Reid, and will be cheered to the rafters by his ‘Barmy Army’ of supporters when he steps through the ropes for this homecoming.
Also on the undercard will be the rematch between Fishburn’s Gary Fox and Darlington’s Neil Hepper. The pair were involved in a toe to toe six-rounder at the same venue back in March, with Fox edging it by a point. This time the duo will square off for the Northern Area light-welterweight crown and Hepper will be determined to settle the score and secure North East bragging rights.
Unbeaten fighters Greg O’ Neil from Horden and Callum Winton from Hartlepool are also due to appear. Full details of the undercard will be announced over the coming weeks.
“We’re building up real momentum in the region for pro boxing, and it’s great to be able to showcase all the talent we’ve got up here,” stated Phil. “This will be my fifth show this year; every one of them has featured top class bouts and the crowds have always been fantastic too. Boxing’s enjoying a resurgence in the North East; this area’s a sleeping giant and I really believe that something big is just around the corner.”