Martin Ward’s trainer not fooled by champion’s weight problem

Boxer Martin Ward training on the beach at Seaton Carew
Boxer Martin Ward training on the beach at Seaton Carew

Neil Fannan says he is not taking Abigail Medina’s failure to make the weight at the first time of asking too seriously ahead of the champion’s first defence of his European title.

The Spaniard was just half a pound over the super-bantamweight limit of 8st 10lbs when he got on the scales just seconds after challenger Martin Ward came in exactly on the mark.

I’ve never taken defeat as an option

NEIL FANNAN

Medina took an hour before returning to make the correct mark for the first defence of the belt against the Hartlepool southpaw at the Borough Hall tonight.

Often a coach would be licking his lips at the thought that the opposition camp were struggling to make the weight. But Fannan told SportMail he was not fooled.

“They have mis-calculated, that’s all,” he said. “They were weighing him at the hotel on different scales and they were slightly out.

“On first appearance, after he took his shirt off, he looked in fantastic condition.

“I don’t believe for one minute that he’s had any sort of struggle with the weight. He looks good.”

Fannan says he is “ultra-confident” in the Dave Garside-managed boxer.

The trainer, who coached town great Michael Hunter to the European super-bantamweight title more than a decade ago, is not usually a man to make any sort of predictions.

But the 58-year-old has total belief in the 29-year-old former Commonwealth champion. “From what I’ve seen of Martin, I’m ultra-confident,” he said. “I fully expect him to do the business at the Borough Hall.

“The truth is, I’ve never taken defeat as an option.

“I’ve not watched a lot of Medina in action but, looking at his record, I can’t see anyone he’s beaten that I don’t think Martin could beat.

“I know every coach says they’ve never seen their man look better, but training has gone brilliantly. No stone has been left unturned.

“For me, Martin is still at the top of his game.”

Fannan and Garside will send out Adam Cope for his pro debut tonight against Yousef Al Hamidi on an undercard which also features Sunderland crowd favourite GlennFoot against Sheffield’s Nathan Hardy.

Boxing is due to start at 7.30pm and tickets are still available at the door at the Borough Hall.