Steven Ward expects a special atmosphere as he heads for the historic Ulster Hall in Belfast on Friday night.
‘The Quiet Man’ is looking to make some noise in his home city on a card topped by his MTK Global team-mate and gym-mate Conrad Cummings, who puts his WBO European title on the line against old foe Luke Keeler.
Local hope Ward was last in action in October - earning a disqualification win over Rolando Paredes - and is ready to unleash the frustration of an interim period that saw him withdrawn from a fight on last-minute doctor’s orders.
Ward said: “I really can’t wait to get in there. I know everyone says the same but for me, Belfast is the best place to fight and Ulster Hall is bang in the middle of it.
“It’s going to be like a cauldron in there on the night and it’s just such a beautiful place to box. I’m really looking forward to being back there and the support is going to be unreal.
“The last fight was frustrating having done a full camp and then being denied by the doctor but it’s just given me more motivation to crack on and have a really big year this year.
“I think that Paredes fight improved me in a general sense. I had to learn how to deal with certain situations. I was seeing double in the eighth round when the fracture happened from the headbutt. I couldn’t get my range and my distance.
“It was good to be in that situation and come through it because overall, it’s made me a better fighter.”
Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly, Tyrone McKenna, Tyrone McCullagh and Gary Cully will all feature.