Tough test for Tommy Ward

Boxer Tommy Ward
Boxer Tommy Ward

TOMMY Ward is set for the biggest fight of his career in Blackpool this Friday, writes ROY KELLY.

The unbeaten Hartlepool-trained boxer had been due to meet rugged Eastern European George Gachechiladze at the Village Urban Resort.

That looked a tough enough proposition in itself over six rounds, but the Georgian has been forced to pull out.

Now, the 20-year-old has been matched with Isaac Owusu.

If the name sounds familiar, it should, Tommy’s big brother, Martin, defeated the big-hitting African at Rainton Meadows Arena at the end of November.

The senior sibling produced an imperious display that Sunday afternoon at the Houghton venue, but Owusu is a danger, with a capital D.

The 29-year-old southpaw is the former Ghana champion who boasts 23 wins from 29 contests including 18 stoppages.

Coach Neil Fannan and manager Dave Garside had no hesitation in agreeing to the bout at the seaside – former heavyweight and cruiser contender Garside is even sponsoring the contest.

“It’s a very good fight for Tommy,” Fannan told SportMail.

“I was offered easier opponents but that’s not what we want.

“If we are paying for his education then we want him to get one, we don’t want an easy night for him.

“Owusu is certainly no mug as his record confirms.

“When I told Martin about this bout he said ‘it’s a good fight for him’.

“Martin said he can lay one on if you let him so Tommy is going to have to keep out of the road!”

The younger Ward is putting his flawless fight log on the line after notching 11 wins on the spin.

His most recent was a real test too,

Ward was pushed all the way at Sheffield last month by Plymouth’s Chris Adaway before getting the verdict from star referee Howard Foster by a 58-57 margin.

The NES Securities-sponsored featherweight continues to impress Fannan in the ring and in the gym.

“I don’t think Tommy has been nursed at all,” said Fannan. “He’s had some good matches and this is another in Blackpool.

“He’s boxed very well and he’s a super trainer and not just in my gym.

“Tommy does a lot of work outside the gym, he goes swimming, does yoga and anything he believes will benefit his training.

“He never drinks and lives his life right.

“If, but hopefully when, he has success in boxing, he will have deserved it.”