MARTIN Ward has vowed to bounce back from his British title defeat by winning at the Summer Rumble at the Stadium of Light.
The gifted boxer was stopped in five explosive rounds by Lee Haskins when the pair fought for the vacant bantamweight belt in Bristol on Saturday night.
And while down, Ward is certainly not out.
The 25-year-old, who is still the holder of the English belt, plans to have a week off with his family, wife Sam and their daughters, Savannah and Tiffany, before returning to Neil Fannan’s gym a week today.
And while he admits it may be difficult to arrange an English title defence, simply boxing at Sunderland’s football ground will be a major lift.
“I’m looking forward to the Stadium of Light in July,” Ward told SportMail.
“I’d love to go back to the scene of one of my greatest performances – against Ian Napa – and box on such a big show.
“I’m not sure anyone will come forward and challenge me for my belt, the bantamweight division is not the strongest.
“If there isn’t a title fight may be a bout at super-bantam might over 10 or eight rounds be a good idea.
“I’d like something competitive to get back into the swing of things.
“I’m gutted about Saturday but I’ll be back.
“I am going to have a week off and spend time with the family and I’ll be back in Fanno’s gym next week.”
Ward was certainly upbeat and says he has returned once from a heavy loss – a KO at the hands of West Ham’s Mickey Coveney in September 2010 – and will do so again.
“I will be back,” he said.
“You can’t win ‘em all and I’ve come back from a stoppage defeat before and I will again.
“I’m sick I didn’t win the British title but I’ll be back for another go.
“I’m a positive person and I’m confident I will do it.”
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