MARTIN Ward has already done more than most boxers in a career – but coach Neil Fannan believes we have still to see the best of him.
The Hartlepool boxer is on the verge of a British super-bantamweight title eliminator – providing there are no mishaps in his outing this Sunday at Houghton.
I want to see him tested and watch him have to pull it out of the bagNEIL FANNAN
Ward tackles Georgia’s Kahaber Avetisian over six rounds but on the back burner is a clash with Kent’s Lewis Pettitt.
The 26-year-old has stepped up to 8st 10lbs, having campaigned at title level at bantamweight, starting with his English championship triumph over Jason “Too Smooth” Booth at the Borough Hall in September 2012.
Ward won the Commonwealth belt at that weight and challenged for Stuart Hall’s IBF World crown only for a cut eye to end the bout after just one round.
He has lost only twice as a pro – one of the defeats coming in a tilt at the British championship in April 2013 when he was stopped by the gifted Lee Haskins in Bristol.
Ward believes he will be a better boxer at super-bantam because he will be stronger and sharper and last the pace better.
And Fannan thinks he has yet to be stretched but when he is he will pass the test,
“He wasn’t himself against Haskins,” said Fannan.
“I’m not using that as an excuse, but he just wasn’t himself.
“The Stuey Hall contest never got going. They turned up, clashed heads and then the fight was stopped it was over before it started.
“Martin has never really been tested.
“He’s been with me six years but I’m not sure I’ve seen the best of him yet.
“When he fought and beat Ian Napa, he had another gear and then he went and won the English title against Jason Booth.
“Napa and Booth have been good fighters but both were in the latter part of their careers.
“They were great wins but I don’t think we’ve seen him at his best yet.
“I’m looking forward to the day that comes, I want to see him tested and watch him have to pull it out of the bag.
“Martin is a talented lad but I look forward to seeing him up against it.”
Both Ward brothers are on the Rainton Meadows bill this Sunday afternoon, Tommy also having Georgian opposition in the shape of George Gachechiladze over six rounds.
For tickets, contact Neil on 07891 101399.