Boxing’s title-seeking Ward brothers might be strutting their stuff in the Rainton Meadows Arena – but Saturday is the chance for Warren Baister to take centre stage.
The Sunderland cruiserweight looks set to headline the bumper 11-bout promotion at the Houghton auditorium.
Baister has been matched with former Olympian, Christian Adjoufack, in an eaglerly-awaited contest.
The Phil Jeffries-promoted event was originally to have Martin Ward’s challenge for the vacant European Union title against Cristian Rodriguez as the top of the bill affair.
However, that fell through after the Spanish fighter was ruled out following disciplinary charges.
The European Boxing Union instead promoted Ward into a fight for their flagship title against the continent’s reigning super-bantamweight champion Abigail Medina.
While awaiting a date and venue, Martin will get a run-out at Rainton Meadows against Latvian Dimitrijs Gutmans over six rounds.
The 28-year-old needs the ring time, having not taped up his gloves since an appearance at the Stadium of Light last July.
Younger brother Tommy will also get six rounds at the show, taking on Simas Volosinas, from Lithuania.
No disrespect to either man from the Baltic nations, but they are not going to extend the Ward brothers this Saturday. That allows Baister to enjoy the limelight.
Unbeaten in four fights under Peterlee coach, Dave Binns, since turning pro, the decorated former GB amateur star has a test against Adjoufack.
The fighter, from Cameroon, has followed compatriot, Thomas Essomba into the professional game, though he has had only one bout to date. Jeffries said: “I’m expecting Warren to go all the way to the top.
“This is a great opportunity to make a statement and I’m looking forward to seeing him against an ambitious opponent.
“It should be a great fight.”
Jeffries puts 11 contests this Saturday, including the pro debut for gifted Peterlee amateur, Chris Wallace, who is a member of the Binns stable at East Durham College.
Unbeaten stablemates Darren Surtees and Jay Hughes are also in action, against Chris Adaway and Russ Midgley.
Hartlepool features heavily with four fighters on the card, Daniel Cope, plus Gus Robinson Developments trio, Anth Hardy, Greg O’Neill and Richard O’Neill, while Middlesbrough cruiser, Simon Vallily, is also listed.
For tickets, contact Phil on 07747611020