Steven Ward and Liam Conroy are two of boxing’s nice guys but will suspend all graces when they clash for the WBO European title next Friday – live on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank.
Unbeaten Belfast light-heavyweight Ward (11-0, 4 KOs) is a former sparring partner of Lancastrian Conroy (17-4-1, 9 KOs) and few seem certain as to who’ll come out on top when the pair shed the headguards on a stacked #MTKFightNight at Ulster Hall on June 21.
Ward said: “I suppose this is a clash of the nice guys. It’s how I carry myself 365 days of the year but there’ll be no nice guys inside the ring.
“Outside the ring, there’s no point in me calling him names. If I do that, I’d get a slap off my Mum as soon as I walked into her house! She doesn’t stand for any of that.
“I know Liam is coming for the belt and I believe we’ll bring the best out of each other. I’m really up for this.”
Conroy said: “You won’t see any different side from me. I respect Steven as a boxer and I respect him as a man.
“We’re similar in that we don’t go talking rubbish and I can’t see either of us doing it this time. I’ll simply come in and do my best to win that title.
“I never take anything personally in this sport. It’s just business to me but I’ll be very hungry to get the victory on the night.”
Joining Ward vs. Conroy on a busy night at Belfast’s most iconic venue is a superb WBC International super-lightweight title clash between Tyrone McKenna and Darragh Foley, an intriguing welterweight collision between Paddy Gallagher and Liam Wells plus the likes of Lewis Crocker and Taylor McGoldrick on the undercard.