Tommy Ward might have to wait for his big Jazz gig

Tommy Ward.
Tommy Ward.

Neil Fannan admits Tommy Ward might need to show patience ahead of his British championship challenge.

The Hartlepool trainer guided the unbeaten boxer to his 17th and best victory of his fast-developing career when he outpointed Robbie Turley at Houghton.

That 10-round victory earned him a British super-bantamweight title shot at champion James “Jazza” Dickens.

The 21-year-old is desperate to tackle the Scouser but Fannan, who has led Michael Hunter, Kevin Bennett and Martin Ward to major titles, says Tommy’s chance will come, but may be not in the near future.

Dickens first must box the excellent Guillermo Rigondeaux, who many see as the best super-bantam in the world – the southpaw Scouser meets the Cuba in in Liverpool on Saturday night.

Of course, should Dickens pull off a stunning win, then he may abdicate the British crown.

“If we could get the fight with Jazza on next we’d be very happy,” said Fannan

“But I’m not sure – Jazza has commitments elsewhere.

“Tommy is ready though for whenever the fight happens. He needed that fight against Turley, he was a tough man and Tommy beat him.

“Tommy is good enough as he showed to everyone on Saturday and in private before then.

“We were sworn to secrecy at the time but Tommy did a lot of sparring with Scott Quigg ahead of his world title unification fight with Carl Frampton.

“Tommy gave as good as he got and that was against a world champion.

“I have no doubt he has the class.”

That certainly seemed to be the case as Ward displayed great ring skills against a dogged opponent.

All three judges had Ward in front by varying margins – John Keane (97-93) and Andrew Wright (98-92) looked pretty much spot on with their scorelines, though Billingham official Graeme Williams had it closer at 96-94.

“Tommy hardly got hit, he boxed and moved, it was great to watch,” said Fannan.

“Mick Marsden was in the corner with me and after three rounds he said ‘he’s in a different league’.

“Tommy never got hit and, for me, won the first six rounds.

“He stood and traded a bit as it wore on but didn’t see him losing a round.

“I think that can only help him as he goes forward.

“Tommy’s pretty much had things all his own way in his career so far.

“But the lad asked a couple of questions of him and Tommy answered them.

“He’s a real talented lad and he’s ready for whenever we get the fight on with Jazza.”