MARTIN Ward would “love” to have a crack at the world title – but will not get ahead of himself.
The Hartlepool-trained star climbed another step up the boxing ladder when he won the Commonwealth bantamweight championship in Newcastle at the weekend.
His majestic triumph against Africa’s Gabriel Laryea follows on from his English title success 14 months earlier and, significantly, will move him up the global rankings.
With Darlington’s Stuart Hall boxing for the vacant IBF bantamweight crown a week on Saturday against South Africa’s Vusi Malinga, there is clearly excitement that one of the world’s premier belts could be coming to the region.
Britain currently boasts an elite of bantam talent – former IBF king Jamie McDonnell, British champ Lee Haskins, Hall and now Ward, following his points glory against Laryea.
But Ward will not get carried away and says he remains happy to be guided by trainer Neil Fannan and manager Dave Garside.
“I am the same as always, I’ve not changed because I have won this,” he said.
“I am the boxer and I’ll do whatever Neil and Dave put forward.
“To fight for a world title would be a dream come true.
“Michael Hunter did, not that I’m comparing myself to the great Michael Hunter because he was a one-off.
“If I could follow in his footsteps and do what he did in his career and win the British, Commonwealth and European titles and fight for a major world championship that would be unbelievable.
“One day I’d love to have a go at a world title.
“But I just do what I’m told.
“Christmas is only a few weeks away so I’ll have some time with my family, go back to Fanno’s in the new year and get myself back in shape and see what Neil and Dave have in store.”
Given the success of Ward and the whole event on Saturday, the likelihood is that the NES Securities southpaw will make a voluntary defence of his Commonwealth belt in the spring when Ringstar Promotions plan their next venture.
“I think a maiden defence will be Martin’s next fight,” Fannan told SportMail.
“I think there is talk of Mark Clauzel and Ringstar running another show in March and if there was a chance we could be involved in that, it would suit us down to the ground.”