Bellew vs Haye II: Martin J Ward defends European title against James Tennyson at The O2
Last Updated: 08/03/18 4:26pm
Martin J Ward defends his European super-featherweight title against James Tennyson on the undercard for Tony Bellew's rematch with David Haye.
The Essex man claimed the European belt with an impressive stoppage of Juli Giner in December and makes the first title defence against Belfast's Tennyson at The O2 on May 5, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Ward holds ambitions of challenging one of the division's world champions, although he could receive a stern challenge from Tennyson, who is ranked at No 4 by the WBA following four successive knockout wins.
"I've gone the traditional route and I'm happy I've done that," said Ward. "I'm proud to be European champion and I think it's important to defend titles when you win them, so this is a good start to 2018 for me after a brilliant year last year.
"I want to progress onto the world stage now. I've won everything there is to win and when I beat James, I want to start working towards getting to world level. I leave the path down to the team, but I believe I am ready now and I'll prove that on May 5."
Tennyson defended his own WBA international title by stopping Darren Traynor in explosive style last October and believes he can rip the European belt from Ward.
"It great to be part of another momentous night of boxing on Sky Sports," said Tennyson. "Big thanks to Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing for delivering another big opportunity.
"It feels strange to be taking on someone who you admire. Martin is a great champion, but I have a great chance to get my hands on that title, and I'm grabbing it and coming back across that Irish Sea with another belt."
In the main event, Bellew resumes his bitter rivalry with Haye after pulling off a stunning stoppage win in their first meeting at The O2 in March last year.