Martin Ward wants to win English title for coach

TITLE BID: Martin Ward
TITLE BID: Martin Ward

MARTIN Ward hopes his English title clash with Jason “Too Smooth” Booth will be the start of a dazzling championship career.

Victory at the Borough Hall tomorrow afternoon will almost certainly earn him a shot at the British bantamweight crown.

Ward is confident he will be “too sharp” for the experienced and still-talented 34-year-old from Nottingham.

And he told SportMail that he wants title success tomorrow as much for his coach as for himself.

Ward is coached in Hartlepool by Neil Fannan who has guided his career, along with boss Dave Garside since the former world cadet championship silver medallist turned pro in the early days of 2009 .

“Neil Fannan is fantastic,” said the 24-year-old.

“He deserves this more than me.

“Neil puts a lot of hard work in with all the fighters and he’s as ambitious as any of us.”

Victory would end a long and frustrating wait for the 53-year-old trainer who had a decent career of his own as a middleweight in the early 1980s.

Fannan enjoyed great triumphs with his first wave of boxers in his Brierton gym, Michael Hunter, Kevin Bennett, Ian Cooper and Isaac Ward.

All four won belts, Hunter the star turn with eight victories in 10 major title contests.

But, remarkably, Fannan has not had a champion since Argie Ward had the Commonwealth super-bantamweight crown ripped from his grasp by the brutal hands of Anyetei Laryea in October 2007.

But Martin Ward (no relation) plans to end that wait tomorrow afternoon at the famous Headland auditorium.

“It’s been a long time coming for Neil, longer than it’s been for me,” Martin told SportMail.

“It has been a long time since Mick had all his belts and Argie was a champion.

“I’m hoping that tomorrow afternoon that I will give him something he deserves.”

SEE Saturday’s Mail for full story and more boxing stories