ON paper, it might look seven months away – but for Tommy Ward, Valentin’s Day is just around the corner.
he talented teenage boxer, part of Neil Fannan’s Hartlepool stable, is to box Bulgaria’s number one, Valentin Marinov, at the Summer Rumble on July 7.
Fannan admitted to SportMail last Friday that he was frustrated at the calibre of opponent selected for a match with Tommy’s elder brother Martin at the Stadium of Light’s Sunday afternoon spectacular.
But there are no complaints over Marinov who tops his country’s ratings and is an ambitious 20 year-old.
“I’m not after seeing Tommy get beaten, but I want him tested,” Fannan explained.
“He was going to fight an unbeaten Hungarian but that bout has fallen through.
“This lad he’s been matched with now looks ideal.
“Tommy doesn’t want anyone easy and neither do I.
“I want to see him in a fight and I want to see how he handles it.
“I rate Tommy as good a prospect as anyone in the country.
“I’m not saying he’s better than anyone, just that he’s as good.
“It serves no purpose bringing in an opponent who just dances around the ring and has no interest in winning.
“I want someone who’s going to come and have a proper go and Marinov fits that bill.”