MARTIN Ward’s wait for a big title fight could soon be over.
But the exciting Hartlepool-trained star must see off dangerous George Gachechiladze before moving on to the next level.
Ward takes on the Ukraine fighter for the International Masters bantamweight belt at the Rainton Meadows Arena on Sunday.
And coach Neil Fannan is keeping his fingers crossed that “something significant” is on the horizon and is expecting talks with Dennis Hobson, the manager of British, Commonwealth and European champ Jamie McDonnell.
“Dennis is coming to see me and I think he wants to make something happen on this division,” Fannan told SportMail.
“Hopefully we can make a breakthrough after this fight.
“Martin is a class act and I’d put him in with anyone, he is definitely ready for something significant.
“But we must get George out the way first.
“He’s not going to be coming all the way over from Georgia for a trip out – he will be coming to win.”
And Fannan says Ward will not be taking the 25-year-old lightly, even though his hands-down languid approach in a fight looks as though he is.
The former World Cadet Championship silver medallist has been in brilliant form over the last 13 months, reeling off five wins against Shaun Doherty, Ian Napa, Michael Ramabeletsa, Andy Roberts and Hyusein Hyuseinov, the last two being stoppage successes.
“It is not like he will overlook this lad,” said Fannan.
“The thing is, Martin’s style never alters, he looks laid back and relaxed whoever he boxes.
“It is coming up a year since he beat Ian Napa at the Stadium of Light and it’s been a really good 12 months or so.
“Hopefully we will get this out of the way and then hopefully something will happen.”
Phil Jeffries, who is co-promoting the eight-bout Sunday afternoon event at Houghton-le-Spring with Ward’s manager Dave Garside, is excited by Ward and his future.
“Ward is up there with the very best bantamweights in the country,” stated Jeffries.
“We’re hoping that this title will be the first of many, because Martin really is a great little talent.”
Ward stablemates Gary Fox and Robert Ismay are also in action.
Tickets are on sale at the venue on the day. Doors open at 1pm.
For ticket info, contact Neil on 07891101399.