Ward hopes to rekindle glory days at York Hall
Former Repton amateur star Bobby Ward is bidding to make a successful return to action on his old stomping ground at York Hall
By LEN WHALEY
Former Repton amateur star Bobby Ward is bidding to make a successful return to action on his old stomping ground at York Hall on Saturday.
A clash of unbeaten fighters tops the bill at the Bethnal Green venue, with Welsh champion Nathan Cleverly meeting Norwich's Danny McIntosh for the British light-heavyweight title.
But Ward provides some local interest on the undercard of the Hennessy Sports show as he returns to the famous East End ring for the first time since quitting the sport five years ago.
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Former Repton and Dagenham BC amateur title winner Ward was left bitterly disappointed in Wigan last month after an impressive pro debut against Sheffield's Mo Khaled was controversially ruled a draw by referee Michael Alexander.
The result shocked Ward and the watching television commentary team of John Rawling, Duke McKenzie and Barry McGuigan, who all expressed disbelief at the verdict.
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Now Ward is hoping for better luck at York Hall on Saturday - the same night as his former amateur victim Amir Khan challenges for the world title in Manchester.
Ward defeated Khan during their stellar amateur careers a decade ago, but while the Bolton star went on to win Olympic silver and earn pro success, Ward took a five-year break from the sport after earning national honours at Repton and Dagenham.
But trainer Tony Sims believes his new protege can still make a success of his boxing career.
"It's early days yet, but Bobby is looking like a real talent. He has bags of ability and that was his first fight in over five years, so I think there is a lot more to come from him," Sims said. "
Now Ward is bidding to improve on that debut draw in his second pro appearance against experienced rival Sid Razak - who gave former British titleholder Martin Power a tough fight in his last York Hall appearance.
Former Peacock BC amateur Dwayne Lewis, who is also trained at Sims' Hainault gym, is also looking to improve his pro record against Lithuanian Kirill Pshonko - known at the 'pit-bull' - on Saturday.
Tickets priced from �35 are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.