Tommy Ward follows IBF World title challenger Martin Ward up boxing ladder


MARTIN Ward may have the world at his feet – but another member of the family is making his way in the boxing game at a rapid rate.

Tommy Ward has reeled off six wins already inside 19 months as a boxing pro.

The featherweight, still three months short of his 20th birthday, will box a six-rounder on the Phil Jeffries-promoted show at Houghton-le-Spring on Friday, March 7.

Tommy will then fight on the undercard of elder brother Martin’s IBF world bantamweight championship challenge against Stuart Hall on Saturday, March 29.

Young Ward has many of his brother’s attributes, in particular his handspeed, but he carries a canny punch too.

And, like Martin, he is based out of Neil Fannan and Dave Garside’s Hartlepool camp.

“I’m as excited about Tommy as I have been about any of my fighters,” Fannan told SportMail.

“He’s doing really well, because you’ve got to remember he went straight from junior boxing into the pros.”

Ward has looked good in the gym, including a blockbuster of a sparring session with unbeaten Hartlepool fighter Mick Hadfield.

The pair went at it “hammer and tongs” in Fannan’s Brierton gym, much to the trainer’s excitement.

“Seeing Mick and Tommy going at it is some of the best sparring I’ve ever seen,” said Fannan. “Ever.

“I could have watched it all night.

“It went to and fro, but it was not just a little battle, it was great boxing between two top lads.

“There was a lot of classy stuff.

“Tommy never stops impressing me and he’s gone from a boy to a man in such a short period of time.”

Tommy is part of a strong local contingent on the show at Rainton Meadows Arena.

His Fannan stablemate, Gary Fox, is in the headline fight as he challenges Kirk Goodings for the Sunderland lightweight’s English title.

Another gym colleague, unbeaten Rob Ismay will also be in action.

Two more local undefeated prospects are on the action-packed bill.

Gus Robinson star Peter Cope will face Berkshire’s Ian Bailey for the British Masters super-featherweight title.

And ex-Headland ABC featherweight Mick Hadfield will be making his third pro appearance.

FOR ticket info, call Neil on 07891101399