TOMMY Ward will fight Joe Beedon as he looks to register his 11th straight win as a pro this weekend.
The youngest of West Rainton’s boxing Ward brothers will face the Swindon fighter over six rounds on the Cream of the Crop promotion at Houghton’s Rainton Meadows Arena, staged by Phil Jeffries.
Ward’s coach Neil Fannan told the Echo he had been searching for an opponent with a winning record which has delayed the announcement until now.
Fannan admits his disappointment that has not happened but believes the 20-year-old will still get “a good fight”.
Beedon has won only one of his 20 bouts though the Wiltshire fighter has never been stopped so it should at least mean Ward gets six rounds under his belt.
He said: “Joe had been offered to us when this show was organised.
“I must admit I didn’t want him.
“I did not mean it disrespectfully to Joe or his people.
“I had been banging on about getting Tommy a test and I then did not want him boxing someone with a long losing run.
“I’ve spoken at length with (matchmaker) Mick Marsden and he says Joe is not bad and assures me it will be a good fight.
“I’m sure it will be and Joe is a 21-year-old lad who’ll give it a go.
“I am just looking to get Tommy stepped up.
“I think he’s got the capability to go a long, long way but he needs testing.”
It could yet work in favour of Team Ward, especially if Beedon turns up at Rainton Meadows Arena with a point to prove.
Tommy will be joined on the nine-fight bill by brother Martin, who will be boxing for the first time since a badly cut eye ended his challenge for Stuart Hall’s IBF world bantamweight title in March.
Martin will fight Ghana champion Isaac Owusu over six rounds.