Tommy Ward insists his dream of becoming world champion will be a motivation and not a distraction when he defends his British title next Saturday.
The West Rainton boxer makes the maiden defence of the famous Lonsdale Belt when he faces Birmingham’s Sean “Showtime” Davis in Newcastle.
Ward v Davis is the chief support bout at the Metro Radio Arena to the WBO light-middleweight eliminator as the two Liams, Smith and Williams, slug out a much-anticipated re-match.
And global ambitions are what Ward has in his mind, as long as he takes good care of his domestic duties.
Many protagonists, and experts, view boxers looking beyond their next bout as a potential chink in the armour.
However Ward does not see it that way.
“Definitely not,” he told SportMail. “I don’t want to sound big-headed but we’ve got eyes on bigger things.
“I’m going to have to win all these fights to get to where I want to be, that’s our quest.
“My focus is always strong, if I slip up and lose then I’m back down the ladder a few rungs.
“I know the British title is on the line and I know Sean Davis is good, but I know I have to win to keep on my journey.”
Ward is promoted by a bastion of the British fight game, Frank Warren, who stages next Saturday’s blockbuster which will be shown live on BT Sport.
Warren works closely with the World Boxing Organisation, with unbeaten “Turbo” Terry Flanagan the WBO lightweight king with Billy Joe Saunders the title holder at middleweight.
Unbeaten American, Jessie Magdaleno, is the current man in possession of the WBO super-bantamweight belt and could be a potential target for Ward.
The 23-year-old is not talking any names yet, but says the backing of Warren has given his career a huge lift.
Ward has won all 21 of his pro bouts, the latest his superb British championship triumph in Leeds in May, when he dethroned James “Jazza” Dickens.
His career has been guided, to absolute perfection, by coach Neil Fannan, manager Dave Garside and promoter, Phil Jeffries.
With Warren he is now on a different level.
“Dave, Neil and Jaffa have been brilliant and have really looked after me,” said the NES securities-sponsored talent.
“They have got me to where I am now.
“Now I’m with Frank it’s moving me on to bigger and better things.
“He believes in me and he’s on my side.
“When I watched boxing as a youngster and I looked at the fighters he put on the major shows and thought that’s where I want to be.
“Now I have the chance to be there.”
For tickets, contact Phil on 07747611020.