Thomas Ward says he has no doubt he will one day be a world champion after landing a title eliminator against America’s Jesse Angel Hernandez.
The Rainton boxer will take on the highly-rated bantamweight in a WBO world title eliminator in the States on Friday, February 15.
The fight comes after Ward’s IBF eliminator against Cesar Juarez fell through, and offers Ward the chance to continue his rise up the rankings.
Hernandez is making a name for himself on the other side of the Atlantic with a string of TV wins and the fight will be broadcast live on US major network Showtime.
Ward, though, is confident he can come through the bout on foreign soil.
“I’m absolutely delighted to land this fight,” he said. “This is the next step on a long journey to getting that world title, which has been the goal all along.
“It won’t be easy but if I go to America and get the win then I am next in line for a world title shot and that is the aim.
“I can’t afford to look past him though. I don’t know much about him. I leave that to my team. But I do know he’s a quality operator and has a little hype over there so I will have to be at my best.
“I’ll do my work, follow my team’s instructions and focus on myself and I believe if I do I’m among the best in the world so will have too much for him.”
Ward is unbeaten in 24 fights, the highlight being when he landed the British super bantamweight crown with an exciting win over Jazza Dickens.
And he believes his extra experience can prove too much for Hernandez, despite the Mexican-American impressing with 12 wins from 13 fights, seven via knockout.
“It is a risk, but I also look at it as a huge opportunity,” Ward told the Sunday Sun.
“I have no major promoter like Hernandez so throughout my career we’ve had to take opportunities when they come. We did that with Jazza Dickens and we do that again here.
“I believe that experience will serve me well because I know what it means to seize an opportunity.
“I’ve also never believed I should be anything less than a world champion. I’m only 24 and I can still get even better. People haven’t seen the best of Tommy Ward yet, but they will on February 15.”