Tommy Ward is to face the hardest test of his career after being matched with Dai Davies at the Summer Rumble.
The 21-year-old has enjoyed a dream start to his professional career with 13 wins in a row.
But now the Dave Garside and Neil Fannan fighter will take a step up in class – and distance – against the Welsh featherweight championover eight rounds at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, July 5.
Davies is one tough nut to crack, as he proved when he fought Josh Wale in a Commonwealth title eliminator in Rotherham last weekend.
The 32-year-old, was beaten 96-95 by Wale but many observers felt Davies had been “robbed” after a 10-round cracker.
While the Merthyr Tydfil man has lost twice as many bouts as he’s won (24-12), he is very much a ‘live’ opponent.
It’s a good fight for Tommy and I’m looking forward to seeing him in something a bit tastyNEIL FANNAN
“Dai is still going strong,” said Fannan.
“I wasn’t at the Wale-Davies fight but he lost by a point and, by all accounts, he was robbed.
“It’s a good fight for Tommy and I’m looking forward to seeing him in something a bit tasty.”
Tommy is on a bumper bill which will topped by elder brother Martin, though he is currently minus an opponent after Leigh Wood pulled out of their English super-bantamweight title fight.
The Wards were due to be on the same Hartlepool show last month, only for a hand problem to rule out Tommy.
But Fannan says he is now fully fit. ”Tommy is fine,” said the coach. “It was more of a precaution to pull him off the Borough Hall show.
“He’s been away sparring with Andy Townend down Yorkshire and we’re waiting for a call from [world champion] Scott Quigg.
“Scott was very happy with the sessions he had with Tommy before his last fight and has asked him back down to Manchester.”
Ward stablemate Gary Fox has returned to the gym and hopes to get a place on the Summer Rumble bill.
The Fishburn fighter has not boxed since losing in a challenge for Kirk Goodings’ English lightweight title in March 2014.
“Gary’s back in the gym and looking all right,” said Fannan. For tickets, call Neil on 07891101399.