MARTIN Ward is counting down the days to finally getting his hands on his first professional title.
The West Rainton bantamweight will face Liverpool’s Mike Robinson for the vacant English championship at Hartlepool Borough Hall on Saturday, September 30.
Ward has endured a luckless run in 2012, but he plans to make his own luck this time round.
The 24-year-old had been due to face Craig Lyon in March only for the Scouser to pull out, then promoters Dave Garside and Phil Jeffries could not pin down an opponent for their May show at Houghton.
When Robinson was signed up to fight for the belt at the Stadium of Light last month, a hand injury forced Ward off the Summer Rumble spectacular.
But Ward, a winner of 15 of his 16 fights, says he is now fighting fit.
“It’s been a long time coming,” he said.
“But there is a saying that all good things come to those who wait.
“Fingers crossed, it’s happening now, unless my hand falls off!
“If I was a little bit older I would probably have been frustrated at the fact a title bout has yet to happen, but I am only 24. It’s been nice to get the experience and I’ve fought Ian Napa last year and had a couple of eight/10 rounders against tough opponents.
“Getting those fights under my belt has been important for my career.
“When I do get a title I will be a still-young-but-experienced champion.
“So, when I get the chance to fight the likes of Stuey Hall and Jamie McDonnell, further down the line, for the big titles, I have the experience.
“All this I’ve been doing is working towards me getting to the top.”
Tickets are on sale for the Hartlepool show. Call Phil on 07747 611020.