PROMOTER Mark Clauzel has “big hopes” for Tommy Ward and can’t wait to see him box on his show tomorrow night.
Clauzel makes his debut as a fight-maker after being forced to call time on his own boxing career.
The Tynesider had reeled off six straight wins but said he will not put his health at risk by fighting again.
Instead, he wants to bring through some of the region’s talent, including West Rainton’s Tommy Ward, the younger brother of Martin, who will fight for the Commonwealth title at Newcastle’s Centre for Sport tomorrow.
Tommy has won all five of his professional bouts and should make it six in a row by beating Qasim Hussain at the Westgate Road venue.
The pair were due to box in the summer at Scarborough, but a cut eye in sparring ruled out Tommy.
The Sheffield fighter is a real nuisance, as he proved at the Summer Rumble at the Stadium of Light, where he took Hartlepool’s Peter Cope the full six rounds.
Clauzel believes the teenager will go a long way.
“Tommy Ward is an outstanding talent,” he said.
“He’s only 19, he can box, he can move, he can punch, he can box on the inside, he can fight on the back foot.
“You are only going to see Tommy getting better and better.
“As he gets older and stronger, I think you’ll see him putting a stamp on this division and surprise and stop a lot of good kids.
“I have big hopes for Tommy and he’ll definitely go on and win titles.”
The amazing thing is the total lack of bitterness from Clauzel, who was once in the position that Tommy finds himself in now.
He says he is happy trying to make other dreams come true and that was the motivation behind the concept of his venture, Ringstar Promotions.
“I had a few medical issues, nine to 12 months ago,” he explained. “I failed a medical and it was thought I’d had a stroke or a bleed on the brain.
“Luckily it wasn’t, but I have underlying health issues and the top and bottom of it is that I won’t pass a medical for the Boxing Board of Control.
“I still have problems with my left eye and I need to get an operation on that next year. I went for second and third opinions.
“They all said the same thing that if I got back in the ring and started taking blows to the head there’s a 50-50 chance that I would go down and could end up in a wheelchair or worse.
“I have a beautiful daughter and another child on the way so I’m not going to risk anything.
“I run Swalwell ABC and I’m a big fan of boxing, very passionate about the sport.
“When I hung up my gloves I thought ‘I’d love to promote’.
“I have good friends and contacts backing me and we had a good discussions about everything and that’s how Ringstar Promotions was born.”