Veteran Mansfield boxer, 59, determined to become world champion

Boxing show promoted by Body And Soul Gym at Mansfield Civic Centre, pictured is Steve Ward of Team Body And Soul
Boxing show promoted by Body And Soul Gym at Mansfield Civic Centre, pictured is Steve Ward of Team Body And Soul

Veteran Mansfield slugger Steve Ward is on a mission to win a world title - in what could potentially be his last fight in the squared circle.

The 59-year-old is in discussions to line up against long-time American foe Mike Palmer.

Ward is hoping to get a date fixed up for the fight, with the World Boxing Union super vet title on the line.

Ward and Palmer have traded the Guinness Book of Records title of world’s oldest active boxer over the past few years.

Now, Ward is determined to meet Palmer across the pond later this year.

Steve told the Chad: “All being well it will take place in America.

“He took the world record title and he did what was right while I was out injured.

“Now I’ve got it back and what a way to fight it out.

“I’m doing all the training but I’ve got another two or three gears to go yet.

Steve, a regular at Mansfield gym Body and Soul, is still unsure of the exact date of the fight but estimates that it could take place “anytime from August to November.”

He said: “I don’t want to be caught cold.

“It will be nice to fight somebody my age rather than someone 30 years my junior!”

Of his opponent, Ward has been assessing the American and knows he will be no pushover.

“He’s a big man,” said Ward.

“He’s six foot, six inches and 17 stone but I think this will be nice and close.

“It will be 12, three-minute rounds.”

Ward’s last outing came last December and although he was beaten he says there is extra motivation to take on Palmer.

He said: “I lost the fight last time out but won the record back.

“I sometimes give away too much age.

“I’ve told people this will probably be my last fight.

“I’m doing it for my father.

“He would have been 107 if he were alive now.

“He used to run a newsagents in Nottingham, where I grew up, and he put a photo on the counter.

“He used to say to people that this kid will be the world champion so I’d like to do it for him.

“I’ve been going to Body and Soul for roughly four years.

“I always used to train on my own until Roger Brotherhood persuaded me to come down.

“I’ve been here ever since.

“I would like to think it would be brilliant for the region if I can do it.”