Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ward: Title Win Would Mean the World to My Coach

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ward: Title Win Would Mean the World to My Coach

Article excerpt

Byline: CRAIG JOHNS

THOMAS Ward wants to win a world title not just for himself - but also for his coach and best friend Neil Fannon.

County Durham's Ward took one step closer to doing just that on Friday when he outpointed Jesse Angel Hernandez in Wichita, Kansas in a bout televised live on Showtime Boxing in the USA.

With Hernandez well ranked with world governing bodies, the former British super bantamweight champion can expect to move closer to the ultimate prize in professional boxing imminently.

Despite being just 24, it has been a long slog for Ward to get to this point - this being the 26th fight since he turned professional in 2012.

It is a journey Ward has shared all the way with Fannon - who has trained many North East talents over the years - notably Michael Hunter, David Dolan, Thomas' brother Martin and now Lewis Ritson.

Yet one thing which alludes the highly-respected and much-accomplished coach is a world champion - something Ward is hoping to change, even more so after Fannon's recent health scare. He said: "It feels good to win the fight, as much for me but also for Fanno too.

"He had a heart attack recently but recovered thankfully to guide me for this fight as he always has.

"So for him it meant a lot too. He was buzzing. It was a nice big team effort and that just made it all the more enjoyable. Neil is an inspiration to me. He is a world-class coach and he is also one of my best friends.

"He gives me advice not just on boxing and my career but also on life.

"I was a young man when I turned professional so in many ways it feels like he has helped to bring me up.

"Fanno has never had a world champion and I want to become his first. He has never had a big fight in America either so that is one thing off the list before we get the world title. …

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