Thomas Patrick Ward (25-0, 4 KOs) will push himself to the brink of a World Title tilt if he can overcome Jesse Angel Hernandez (12-1, 7 KOs) when they clash on the latest ShoBox card in Kansas on Friday 15th February, live on BoxNation.
Sharing top billing with the slick County Durham boxer is Uzebekistan’s KO King Shohjahon Ergashev (15-0, 14 KOs), who meets Mykal Fox (19-0, 5 KOs) in a 10-round Super-Lightweight clash.
Ward, who will be making his American debut, has been given extra incentive by the WBO with the bout being confirmed as an official World Title eliminator.
“I’m absolutely delighted to land this fight,” Ward told the Sunderland Echo. “This is the next step on a long journey to getting that World Title, which has been the goal all along.
“It won’t be easy but if I go to America and get the win then I am next in line for a world title shot and that is the aim.
“I can’t afford to look past him though. I don’t know much about him. I leave that to my team. But I do know he’s a quality operator and has a little hype over there so I will have to be at my best."
Ward, 24, won the British Title in May 2017 when he defeated Jazza Dickens in the ninth round on a technical decision, before making one successful defence against Sean Davis.
Last July he claimed the IBF European crown when he outpointed Alvaro Rodriguez over 10 rounds.
Texan Hernandez hasn’t boxed since last July when he outpointed Raymond Chacon. His best win came in August 2017 when he stopped unbeaten Russian Vladimir Tikhonov.