Carl Frampton has backed Steven Ward to quite literally come back bigger and better in the New Year.
‘The Jackal’ was ringside in Brentford to support his friend and gym mate as he fought in the Golden Contract light heavyweight quarter finals on Saturday.
‘The Quietman’s’ fight ended up making serious noise, but not for the reason Ward’s followers would have wanted.
The noted gent was stopped within a round by Ricards Bolotniks, a fighter he chose to face during the unique fight week draw, and as a result exited the tournament.
The result and the manner in which it came shocked fight fans and prompted a host of ‘where does he go from here’ questions.
However, while Frampton was disappointed for Ward post the reverse the three weight world title hopeful conveyed a calmness you sense the whole team had.
The 32-year-old revealed Ward was primed for a move up to crusierweight after he defeated Liam Conroy in dramatic fashion at the Ulster Hall earlier this year.
However, the chance to secure such a life changing contract with a top promoter- rumoured to be Top Rank -via the Golden Contract he had to enter.
Staying at light heavy was a risk, a risk he had to take, but one that didn’t pay off fellow Jamie Moore trained fighter, Frampton explained.
The Top Rank fighter believes moving up will see Ward stronger and as a result much better.
“It’s a strange one for me obviously knowing Stevie and knowing how dedicated he is. He is the most dedicated athlete I know and he deserves to win fights because of that alone,” Frampton told iFL TV.
💥 Bolotniks shocks Ward with 1st round KO! 💥— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) December 14, 2019
Ricards Bolotniks stops Steven Ward in the first round after Ward picked Bolotnik earlier in the week 👀 pic.twitter.com/UnkQaEIoCb
“It was kinda .. not a matter of time, but after the Conroy fight when he beat him the plan was to move up to crusierweight, but obviously this opportunity came up and he had to take the risk. It was a risk that didn’t pay off, that’s all it was. He can home now enjoy Christmas with his family and be a good strong solid cruiserweight and enjoy boxing again,” he added before explaining just how hard Ward worked to make light heavy.
“Look at the size of him, Stevie eats less than me to make the weight, that’s how discipline and dedicated he has to be.”
The Belfast fighter also revealed he goes under the knife for hand surgery on December 20 and is confident of a summer world title fight in his home town.