MARTIN Ward will be looking to make another step towards British title contention when he goes into the ring at Houghton tonight.
West Rainton ace Ward (pictured) puts his boxing talents on show as he takes Shaun Doherty in his 11th professional bout at the Rainton Meadows Arena.
The super-bantamweight has mixed memories of the venue he will visit for the third time, but coach Neil Fannan is confident that his boxer will impress.
Fannan said: “Martin is a fantastic boxer with a lot of potential.
“We’re looking forward to this fight because it is going to be a good test and we will really find out who Martin Ward is and what he’s all about.
“Martin has been training hard lately and it is clearly paying off – he looks as sharp as he ever has.”
Last time out, Ward was up against Delroy Spencer and won on points over the four rounds at the Rainton Meadows Arena in December.
The fight prior to that was scheduled to be a six-round contest at the same venue, which Ward lost in two rounds, knocked out by West Ham’s Mickey Coveney.
Fannan was always confident Ward would bounce back and believes he is on course towards the British championship scene.
He said: “The Coveney fight is one we don’t really look at because the weight difference was enormous – Martin was conceding a stone.
“We know it’s a loss on his record but we just moved on and knuckled down, got back in the gym and got to work putting things right.
“Everything is a learning curve and that was one of the bigger ones for Martin.
“We have tightened up his defence and had some fantastic sparring partners, so everything looks in place to be a great contest.”
Ward has shared the training ring with tonight’s headliner Stuey Hall, plus world super-bantamweight title challenger Rendall Munroe, and Fannan said both were full of praise for Ward.
Fannan added: “The feedback we got from them both was amazing and such a confidence boost. Munroe has fought for a world title in Japan and he said that he was very surprised at how skilful Martin is.”
New Easington pro Paul Archer and Sunderland’s Glen Foot are also in action tonight on the undercard of the Frank Maloney show.
Archer makes his second pro appearance when he faces veteran Birmingham fighter Sid Razak.
In the main event, Hall, from Darlington, is aiming to win a Lonsdale Belt by successfully defending his British bantamweight crown against Liverpool’s John Donnelly.