Considering he is twice the height of Carl Frampton, it’s hard for Steven Ward to get caught in his gym mate’s shadow in a literal sense and, it seems, metaphorically ‘The Jackal’ doesn’t cast a shadow over those in Jamie Moore;s gym.
The light heavyweight BUI Celtic title holder and Frampton are training side-by-side for BT Sports broadcast bouts in Manchester on December 22.
However, there is a lot more on the line for the featherweight than his Belfast housemate. The former two=weight world champion challenges Josh Warrington for the IBF world title on the top of a massive bill, while Ward [9(3)-0] competes in just his tenth fight against yet to be confirmed opposition, most likely as part of the untelevised undercard.
Consider the differing magnitude of their fights it wouldn’t be strange to think that most of trainer Jamie Moore’s focus would be on the world title challenger – and super middleweight contender Rocky Fielding who faces Canelo a week before – rather than Ward and co.
However, ‘The Quiet Man’ has revealed former Irish champion Moore has everyone operating on a level playing field.
“In the gym Jamie has us all on a level playing field. Everyone has their individual things to work on but we are all there together, whether it is doing bags or pads,” Ward told the BBC.
“It is good because we push each other on but we all have a game plan of what we are doing and what we are meant to be doing.”
“Sometimes I will go into the gym and revert to working on my strengths and Jamie does not have that, he has you working on your weaknesses,” added the Newtownabbey 175lber who shares the VIP Gym with Frampton, Fielding, Martin Murray, Conrad Cummings, Jack Catterall, and others.
Ward’s Manchester bout will be his fourth of the year and having picked up a title and successfully gone eight and (almost) 10 rounds in 2018 he feels he will be primed from a massive 2019.
“I think that is going to happen, next year is a massive year for me.”
“I feel like i am really developing as a fighter as a whole,” he continued before expressing excitement at being on such a high profile card.
“This is my Christmas present come early. Getting on a bill like this, it is going to be unreal. It is the type of bill that everyone is breaking their arm to get on, and luckily enough I got the nod.”
“I was there when he fought Quigg [in February 2016],” said Ward.
“I think I was second row from the top, I was actually getting a bit of vertigo I was that high up but it is mad to think I am going to be boxing there now.”