MARTIN Ward admits victory in his British title fight in Bristol would be a “dream come true”.
But he says he wants to win the Lonsdale Belt as much for trainer Neil Fannan as he does for himself.
Ward takes on favourite Lee Haskins at the City Sports Academy tonight for the vacant British bantamweight championship after becoming the English belt holder last September.
It would represent the 25-year-old’s first major success in the pro game after a glittering junior and amateur career, which included a silver medal at the world cadets tournament.
And victory would be Fannan’s first title since Argie Ward (no relation) was the Commonwealth super-bantamweight king in the autumn of 2007.
“Neil deserves one, and so do I, so I hope I can make us both happy,” Martin Ward said.
“I want the title for myself but I’d love to bring it back to Fanno’s.
“The fighters put in the work but Fanno puts in so much himself.
“He’s a very dedicated man.
“He’s been close a few times with Dave Dolan but if I could give him a British title tonight that would be great.”
Ward came face to face with Haskins for the first time yesterday at the weigh-in.
The Dave Garside-managed southpaw tipped the scales at 8st 5½lbs with Haskins dead on the 8st 6lb limit.
He looked relaxed – as did the Bristol fighter – and, as typifies his laid-back persona he was not making any bold or brash predictions.
“I’m pleased with how training has gone and I have come here very confident,” he said.
“I’m going for the victory but if I come second best then I know I will have been a very good second best and Lee Haskins will know that he has been in with a top class fighter.”