As reported on Thursday, Thomas Patrick Ward is getting his big chance in the forum of a final eliminator.

The WBA’s No1 contender has been ordered to face Uzbekistan’s Otabek Kholmatov to decide on who is next in line to fight for the world crown.

Leo Santa Cruz and Leigh Wood have been ordered to fight, to determine one champion in the weight class, and the winner would face Ward or No2 ranked Kholmatov.

Ward (33-0-1) has waited patiently for clarity from the WBA and plans on backing up his claims to be best boxer in the 126lbs division, by securing his world title shot with a victory over the 10-0 Kholmatov.

“I’ve never had anything easy in my career, so I knew that getting a straight shot at the world title was probably never going to happen,” Ward told

“But this is a final eliminator, so I know that when I win, I am next in the line for a shot at the world champion.  Everything is now moving in the right direction.”

Ward added: “I don’t know very much about Kholmatov, but traditionally the Uzbek fighters are very well schooled, so I am already prepared for that, but I believe I am the best featherweight in the world.  I want to challenge all the champions in the world. It’s great that Santa Cruz and Wood are fighting and the whole WBA world title situation is moving forward.”