MANSFIELD’S Steve Ward will officially become the oldest boxing champion in the world when he steps into the ring in Chesterfield next Saturday, aged 54.
Ward, born on August 12, 1956, will be defending his EBF Midlands cruiserweight belt, for the first time, at the Escapade night club.
“I’ve been in touch with the Guinness Book of Records,” said Ward.
“I had hoped they could be there on the night. But I worked out it would have cost me about £4,800, for hotels and travel, to bring the Guinness Book of Records team down
I had to fill in a lot of forms for them instead.
“Australian Dexter Dunworth was the oldest champion on record but he retired in 2008, so it is coming to me now. I’m going to be in the record books. How good is that?”
Ward, who turned professional in 1977, had 57 pro fights, winning 15 and losing 39, before retiring in 1987.
He finished his career with defeats against three big-name opponents, champions Ensley Bingham (KO 5), Crawford Ashley (KO 2) and Frank Grant (KO 3).
Ward also had a long amateur career, winning 136 out of 148 bouts, after starting out at the Nottingham School of Boxing as a lad.
Three other ex-pros, Darrell Grafton, Greg Scott-Briggs and Gavin Down are also on the Raging Bull bill in Chesterfield.
“It will be nice to see the lads again, you normally only see old boxers at funerals these days,” said Ward, who is a driver for a concrete firm in Somercotes.
“I’m top of the bill, which is great after all these years.
“I’m ready for this fight. No one is taking the title off me.”