Ward, now 21-1-2, and his team are pushing for the showdown with Garcia. “But Oscar De La Hoya [Garcia’s promoter] has different thoughts and thinks that Ryan’s beyond that point. I have to disagree. I don’t think Ryan’s fought anybody at Martin Ward’s level just yet,” the Briton’s manager Charlie Sims told Boxing News.
“I think Martin is technically the best fighter he’s ever boxed. I can understand why they might want to protect him but we’re there if they want to make the fight for June 1.”
Alternatively an all British showdown with Stephen Smith is being considered. “There’s also another big domestic fight being spoken about at the moment with Stephen Smith. Hopefully that might materialise,” Sims said. “Martin’s been patient, he’s been waiting for his big opportunity. The [James] Tennyson fight was a setback… One punch changed the whole fight. He’s come back from that with a big win in Italy against [Devis] Boschiero but he now needs that next big fight and that’s either going to be against someone like Garcia or someone like Stephen Smith.
“He’s ready, he knows what it takes to become a world level fighter. He knows what he has to do in preparation.”