Joe Ward [2(2)-1(1)] is open to rematching with former amateur foes Luke Tinker [6(5)-0] and Tony Browne [3(1)-0] in the pro game.
However, there are caveats involved. For either to get a chance to avenge their National Elite Championship defeat to the fighter, who faces a revenge mission of his own in Puerto Rico tonight, they would have to win a significant title or get themselves between him and major honours.
Tinker has been forging a name for himself stateside, fighting under the Boston Promotions banner, while Browne is aligned to Star Boxing of New York and making his way in the pro game.
Both have been linked to the three-time European and World Championships medal winner, with some suggesting an Irish title fight with either would be ideal for a big New York March show.
Ward doesn’t play down the notion, but you get the sense he believes he won’t be long getting to world level and thus may not cross path with either anytime soon.
“The two guys I fought in the amateurs and beat if they get any sort of belts or manage to get in my way I have no problem fighting them. But in the meantime obviously, I am taking it one fight at a time and keeping ready,” Ward said this week.
The 27-year-old fights live on NBC tonight, taking on Marco Delgado in Puerto Rico
The gifted operator goes into the rematch after battling back from a knee injury suffered in their first encouther.
He doesn’t only assure the knee issue is one of the past but warns the American he faces an improved fighter than the one that was beating him until injury struck in Ocotber of 2019.
“I feel that I am probably a better fighter now. I got to work on things that were my weaknesses over that period of time. I feel more determined and focused to put a show on and be ruthless,” he adds before revealing he is looking forward to showing how good he is on the big stage.
“It’s not so much about what I have to prove but it’s getting opportunities to fight in these big events that are very special to me. I just want to show the people why I was such a good amateur and how it transfers to a professional.”