Tommy Ward’s new opponent for Summer Rumble

Tommy Ward
Tommy Ward
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TOMMY Ward has a new opponent for his fight at the Summer Rumble, but the ambition remains the same: Win and move on quickly.

Ward had been lined up, like Mick Hadfield, to box Bulgarian opposition at Sunderland on Sunday.

But both eastern European fighters are out and Ward, again like Hadfield, now has a domestic rival at the Stadium of Light.

The gifted 19-year-old will now tackle Devon’s Ben Morrish, eight years his senior and with four more bouts on his record.

Ward is desperate for success, both on Sunday and beyond.

Twelve months ago, frustrated by several doors being closed in his face at the top of the amateur game, he turned professional, joining gifted elder brother Martin in the paid ranks.

Aged just 18 years and 60 days, the multi-junior champion took his first step in the pro ring without one adult contest under his belt.

But he made a great start, outpointing Slovakia’s Elemir Rafael in the very ring he will be boxing in on Sunday.

Two wins have followed for the Neil Fannan and Dave Garside featherweight and now Morrish stands in the way of Tommy making it four out of four.

Fannan rates him “as good a prospect as anyone in the country” and the teenager wants hard fights and wins.

And, just like British bantamweight title challenger Martin, he is exciting to watch.

But, surprisingly given how close the brothers are, Tommy has a style of his own, a totally different style.

Martin is a southpaw, who is a brilliant boxer and mover, but Tommy is an orthodox operator and a more direct fighter.

Fannan explained that Tommy is not only a good brother by being there at ringside to support his sibling, he is also a good learner, studying all the contests.

“Tommy wouldn’t mimic Martin’s style because he’s an orthodox fighter,” said Fannan.

“He’s got his own way of boxing and he’s a very good talent.

“Martin has had 18 bouts and Tommy has seen them all and he seems to learn something from each one.

“Tommy watches very intensely and is a great student of the game.

“After Martin lost to Lee Haskins in his last fight, Tommy came back and tightened his defences up, and he was just a spectator that night, it wasn’t as if he was taking the shots

“If Martin makes any mistake in any of his contests then he’ll look to make sure he doesn’t repeat it himself.

“Tommy has improved since the Haskins fight because of the adjustments he’s made.”

Fannan had been looking forward to Tommy’s international battle with Valentin Marinov but says Sunday’s match up with Morrish will be just as good for the NES Securities-sponsored fighter.

“Morrish is out of Nigel Christian’s gym and that means he’ll be fit and comes to win,” said Fannan. “And that’s what we want.

“All Tommy wants is to be a boxer and he’s hungry for success.

“He wants to win everything he can and retire at 30.”

Martin is also in action at the Summer Rumble, facing Hungarian Adrian Fuzesi, as the brothers appear on the same bill for the first time.

Tickets are still available for the 10-fight show which also features unbeaten Hartlepool featherweight Peter Cope and new Gus Robinson Developments boxer Anth Hardy.

For ticket info, call Neil on 07891 101399