Tommy Ward is young, gifted and fast – those who have watched the West Rainton boxer have marvelled at his attributes.
And the 22-year-old is looking forward to the opportunity to display what he can do on the national stage.
Ward is to challenge for the British super-bantamweight title this Saturday when he tackles James “Jazza” Dickens in Leeds.
Dickens is making the second defence of the famous Lonsdale Belt, ironically his maiden success came against Tommy’s elder brother, Martin, in the most ferocious bloodbath at the Rainton Meadows Arena in November 2015.
Tommy is not put off taking on the champ, from Liverpool, who truly is a top-line operator in the 8st 10lb division and has lost only twice in 28 appearances.
The 22-year-old, trained in Hartlepool by Neil Fannan, and managed by ex-British and Commonwealth heavyweight and cruiser challenger, Dave Garside, believes he has the skill, speed amd movement to succeed.
“Jazza can box, he can fight, he’a good all round operator,” said Tommy.
“But I’m a good fighter as well, so it’s going to be a great bout. I believe I’m fast, skilful and don’t get hit very often.
“And If Jazza is not quick enough I’ll look to capitalise.
“He’ll hit me with some good shots and I’ll hit him with some good shots, it’s about who performs best on the night. I think it’s going to be me.”
Ward is confident without being over-confident and far from being daunted by the challenge of fighting a world-rated man live on TV at the First Direct Arena, he is relishing the experience.
The battle of the little fellas will be shown live on BT Sport, who have signed a big money deal with promoter Frank Warren.
And Tommy, who has been dazzling North East venues for the last four and a half years, feels this is a great platform to show a bigger audience what he can do.
“I’m just looking forward to it, 12 tough rounds, whether it’s a boxing match or a fight,” said the stylish boxer, who is unbeaten after 20 contests.
“I’m looking to get in there to do a job and be the best I possibly can.
“It would be amazing to go out there and outbox Jazza on the big stage and on TV.
“I have respect for Jazza, I like him too, he’s a nice lad.
“But on the night I believe my skills are going to make British champion and everyone is going to know who Tommy Ward is.”