Tommy Ward’s wait is surely almost over.
The men who have guided his career from day one, Hartlepool boxing figures, Neil Fannan and Dave Garside, hope to get the green light this week for a British title challenge.
In all fairness to Tommy, he could probably have stopped a few more.NEIL FANNAN
Ward is in pole position to face Jazza Dickens for the Scouser’s belt now he’s recovered from the broken jaw which ended his world super-bantamweight title clash with Cuban great, Guillermo Rigondeaux.
The fingers of Team Ward are crossed for positive news from Cardiff on Thursday after the British Boxing Board of Control have staged their monthly meeting.
If any evidence was required that the 22-year-old is ready, it came at Ashington on Saturday night.
Tommy, the younger brother of former Commonwealth champ and world title challenger Martin, took apart Hungary’s Norbert Kalucza before knocking out the former Olympian in the fourth round with a wicked left hook to the body.
“He’s awesome,” declared Fannan. “People might have thought it was a risky fight a few days before the Board meeting because he could have come unstuck.
“But me and Dave have full faith in him, that’s why he had this test.
“Tommy is going from strength to strength – he’s a man now, he’s not a boy, and he knows how good he is.”
That was only the second stoppage win in Ward’s 19-bout winning run.
The absence of early nights has been of no concern to Fannan who told SportMail that he has constantly told Tommy NOT to stop opponents – until now.
“He transferred what he’s been doing in the gym for a while into the ring,” said the Hartlepool coach.
“In all fairness to Tommy, he could probably have stopped a few more.
“But that’s down to me because he is so young I wanted him to get as many rounds under his belt as possible.
“His previous fight he could probably have stopped him.
“He’s at the point now where when the chance comes he needs to close the show.
“In the gym we’ve been practicing all this. He dropped someone in sparring with that shot and did it in the fight too.
“When he goes to the next level he needs to do what he did on Saturday night, frustrate his opponent, outbox him, try not to load up and then start to pick the shots.
“You don’t go out to try to stop someone, you increase your power and grind them down.
“Tommy did just that and the lad wasn’t a bad operator.”