Boxer Tommy Ward has chance to bring British super-bantamweight title fight back home to Houghton
Win tonight and fight for the British title on home soil.
That is the incentive for Tommy Ward as the minutes count down to the biggest night of his boxing life.
The undefeated 21-year-old faces Robbie Turley in a British super-bantamweight championship eliminator at Houghton.
Ward starts as favourite against the 29-year-old Welshman, though not by much.
Turley is resilient, awkward, experienced and highly-motivated.
Ward not only has youth, speed and talent on his side, he has home advantage - and promoter Phil Jeffries says he will do “everything” he can to bring a title tilt to the same Rainton Meadows Arena.
“This is a big fight for Tommy,” said Jeffries.
“It’s not for the title but it’s a major chance.
“The reward is massive - a shot at Jazza Dickens.
“Jazza came here to make his first defence against Martin Ward and I will do everything I can to fetch the match here.
“I really believe Tommy can win it.
“I don’t see any reason why it can’t be done.
“Tommy has to beat Turley first, but this lad has so much class and has Neil Fannan in his corner so I’m confident he can come through it.”
Turley though will be no pushover over what promises to be 10 gripping rounds.
Sign up to our daily newsletter
The i newsletter cut through the noise
The man from Cefn Fforest went the full 10 with future world champion Carl Frampton for the Celtic title where he was beaten on points.
He is a difficult man to pin down, quipping that he would be the last opponent he would ever want to fight.
“When I’m at the top of my game I’m an excellent fighter and I can make good fighters look quite poor,” he told the South Wales Argus.
“I’m a switch-hitter; I’m awkward with low hands coming from all angles.
“I wouldn’t like to fight me if I’m truthful.”
Turley was miffed that he was overlooked for a crack at Dickens when Martin Ward got the fight.
He will have something to prove this evening and that will raise the stakes.
Tommy, who has won all 16 of his pro bouts, knows how motivated his rival will be.
“If Turley beats me then he’s the one that will go on to get a shot at the British title,” said Ward.
“He’s going to do everything he can to get the victory.
“He’s going to be battling until the final bell but I’m prepared for everything because I have to get that victory.”
to add - weights and door time