West Rainton’s Tommy Ward must wait to find out the location of his challenge for the British super-bantamweight title.
But coach Neil Fannan says there is one destination his career is going – and that’s up.
Ward’s team of Fannan, Dave Garside and Phil Jeffries missed out on the purse bid for the clash with champion James “Jazza” Dickens.
However, the trainer is not downcast – the contest was clinched by famous fight figure Frank Warren, who has now added the 22-year-old to his stable of fighters.
Ward has agreed a promotional contract with Warren, who last week announced a bumper deal for 20 of his shows to be broadcast live on BT Sport.
“We put in a purse bid so we could get home advantage,” said Fannan.
“We didn’t get it, Frank Warren won it, but it could still happen up here – we hope so. I’m over the moon with how things have worked out.
“Tommy will get a bigger payday and, more importantly, he’ll get some television exposure. He deserves it. Me, Dave and Jaffa know how good Tommy is, as do the fans up here.
“But it will be brilliant for for the rest of the country to get to see him box.
“It’s great Frank has recognised his talent and wants to promote him.”
The British Boxing Board of Control had instructed the title shoot-out to be staged before the end of February.
Fannan expected either the last weekend in February or the first Saturday in March – and he has faith in his gifted performer pulling it off.
It won’t be easy, given the ability of the man who currently has ownership of the Lonsdale Belt.
The Scouser has lost just twice in 24 bouts, one of those being a stoppage defeat to WBA world king Guillermo Rigondeaux back in July.
But Dickens is good, very good in fact as Team Ward know, having seen him at close quarters.
Jazza made his maiden title defence against Tommy’s older brother, Martin, who was beaten on a split decision in a total bloodbath at Houghton 12 months ago.
The younger Ward is not bad himself, reeling off 22 victories in a row, the most recent a ruthless KO of Hungary’s former Olympian, Norbert Kalucza, last month.
“I rate Jazza very highly, but I’m confident Tommy will win,” added Fannan.