Dave Garside insists the future of Hartlepool boxing is looking as bright as ever – despite Martin Ward’s defeat in his crack at the European title.
The 29-year-old was stopped in two rounds by champ Abigail Medina in the headline event at the Borough Hall on Saturday night.
I like his style, he has great potentialDAVE GARSIDE
Garside, who promoted the Headland event, says he is excited by the promise of Adam Cope, while he believes a world title shot is just around the corner for Tommy Ward.
Cope, the middle of the five boxing brothers, made a magnificent pro debut on the undercard of Martin Ward v Medina.
While journeyman Youssef Al Hamidi was never going to spoil the party, looking good against a boxer ‘on his bike’ is never easy.
But the former Gus Robinson Developments boxer looked every inch a top prospect as he showed composure, accuracy and speed.
“I like his style – he has great potential,” said Garside, who manages the former Junior ABA champion.
“He boxes at a great pace, he’s cool, collected, and picks his punches nicely.
“One of the best compliments I can say about him is he boxes above his years.
“I have no doubt he can be the best in the family.
“He has the ability to reach the top and in Neil Fannan, he has the best coach in boxing.
“If he listens to Neil, he can go all the way.”
That is some praise from the Hartlepool fight figure who guided Michael Hunter to British, Commonwealth and European glory and a shot at the IBF World title.
He and Fannan have worked wonders to with both Ward brothers – Martin is a former Commonwealth champ and IBF challenger, while unbeaten Tommy is the British super-bantam champ.
While there is, understandably, some sorrow in Fannan’s Brierton gym following Martin’s defeat, the show must go on – Tommy defends his Lonsdale Belt for the first time on November 11 against ‘Showtime’ Sean Davis at the Metro Radio Arena.
“Tommy is a class act,” said Garside. “He’s got his first British title defence which we’re all looking forward to.
“When he comes through that he’ll have another defence and after that we’ll be looking towards a world title shot.
“Tommy is that good.”
The 23-year-old has taken the mantle of gym king but that is not to say Martin’s days are over.
It is too early and too raw to discuss Ward senior’s future.
“We’ll let things settle then we’ll all talk about it,” added the NES Securities boss.