MARTIN Ward says he will not make the same mistakes as North-East neighbour Stuart Hall when he takes on Lee Haskins in the Bristol star’s backyard.
The Hartlepool boxer tackles the 30-year-old tomorrow night for the vacant British bantamweight title at the City Academy Sports Centre.
Haskins is the very warm favourite, based in part on his win over Hall for the European title last July at nearby Clevedon on the Somerset coast.
The boxer, nicknamed “Playboy” dominated pretty much as he pleased against his Darlington rival who looked predictable and short of ideas and won just a couple of rounds.
“Lee’s very awkward and I’m not sure what to expect until I get in there,” admitted Ward
“I am expecting a horrible, awkward opponent.
“But I can be horrible and awkward myself if I have to!
“We have our game-plans – if the first isn’t working we’ll go to number two.
“We’ve even got a plan C!
“But, hopefully, whichever way we have to go, we’ve got the beatings of him.
“Stuey is a good fighter, but I just think he thought Lee would be easier to hit than he was.
“To be honest, Stuey Hall is tailor-made for someone like Lee Haskins – a big strong come-forward lad who wants to have a fight.
“I’m not worried about getting in and fighting, I can do that if I have to.
“But I won’t be going looking for a fight, like Stuey did.
“Hopefully I will try to make Haskins come to me.”
It promises to be a fascinating tactical battle between a fighter on the way u[p against one who has excelled at the lighter weights for the last seven years.
Ward is confident he has the tools necessary to beat a very good operator who has had nine major championship contests in his career, including six wins.
But the 25-year-old NES Securites-sponsored stylist said: “I bring more speed to the table than Stuey did.
“I don’t think Lee has boxed anyone as fast as I am or as good a mover as me.”