Martin Ward would love nothing more than seeing kid brother Tommy with a world belt around his waist.
But while much of his energy is channeled in the direction of Tommy, this gifted southpaw has not wound down his own career yet.
As evidence of that, the 30-year-old will climb back through the ropes tonight when he forms part of the Black Flash event at Dunston’s Lancastrian Suite, where he will take on Nicaragua’s Johnson Tellez, who now fights out of Barcelona.
It is only Martin’s third appearance in 15 months and his first since beating another Barcelona-based Nicaraguan, Jose Aguilar, at the Dolphin Centre.
The senior Ward had been due to box James ‘Jazza’ Dickens in July for the British super-bantamweight championship vacated by his little brother, only for an injury to his right hand to force a postponement.
With his tools now in working order, the talented Dave Garside and Neil Fannan southpaw is fit to take part in his 32nd professional bout.
“I still love boxing and for as long as I love it, I’ll keep doing it,” said the NE Security-sponsored boxer, whose record stands at a impressive 26-4-1.
“I’ve only boxed twice in the last year and a bit and one of those only last a couple of rounds.
“My hand is better and I’m just looking forward to getting back in there.”
There will be no re-match with Dickens – the pair took part in a fight of the year contender in 2015 for the British super-bantamweight title – unless the fee is right.
“I’m going to have a look to see what’s around at featherweight,” said Ward.
“I need to get the rust off first and then we’ll have a look at the opportunities.”
For all Ward’s class, Johnson Felipe Tellez Guevara or Johnson Tellez for short cannot be taken for granted, with six of his nine victories coming via stoppage.
It is part of a four-bout promotion staged by Pat Barrett, the former British and European champion, who is back in the North East for the first time since December 2016, when he ran a show at Newcastle Racecourse.
There are two other contests which will be worth a watch.
Dean Laing, the 28-year-old light-heavyweight, has been matched with Sheffield’s Chris Dutton.
Laing is a Geordie who is based at the Black Flash gym in Manchester, but gets the chance to box on home territory again.
Dean defeated Latvia’s Raimons Sniedze 40-36 in the same Lancastrian Suite ring and will be favourite for his fifth pro success this evening.
Finally, there is an intriguing Manchester derby between Marcus Morrison and Darryl Sharp.
Marcus Niall Morrison is quite cleverly known as ‘Sweet MNM’ but is not so sweet inside the ropes, stopping 13 of his 17 victims.
The Pat Barrett super-middleweight, from Hattersley, is up against Sharp, who is from Middleton, not that far up the road up the M60.
Sharp has boxed 46 times in the last 18 months and has only been stopped once. Given that star and the stoppage ratio of ‘Sweet MNM’, something will have to give at Dunston.
Words: Roy Kelly Picture: Tom Collins/ East Durham Life.