Optimistic Steven Ward is back in training and eager to be part of boxing's summer return.
The former WBO European light-heavyweight champion had made the decision to move up to cruiserweight after suffering the first, weight-weakened, defeat of his career last December to Ricards Bolotniks. His return was to have taken place in April but Covid-19 terminated that.
The 30-year-old revealed he has returned to his Manchester training base with coach Jamie Moore as he awaits the call to be part one of the numerous shows being lined up in July and August.
Fellow Belfast man Jamie Conlan, the vice president of MTK Global, is currently working on staging bills in England, Scotland and Belfast - with the Europa Hotel and Balmoral Hotel having been given the green light by the British Boxing Board of Control to stage professional shows.
Up to this point Ward has been doing his best to stay in shape at home while trying to look after three children but with the British Board outlining the way ahead for shows, featuring only five fights, he has been able to move his training up a level.
"I got the boat across to Manchester at the weekend and it has been great to just be able to get back into the gym," said Ward.
"I'm still waiting to hear something concrete but I would hope to be out on one of the shows being lined up this summer.
"I have been ticking over at home, doing some runs and some weight sessions but I didn't have a bag so it wasn't easy - I just had to use my imagination and do a lot of shadow boxing drills.
"It's going to be interesting to see what fights are lined up for guys who get on the first shows back because spaces are obviously limited. I think we're going to see guys take more risks, taking certain fights earlier than they would have expected.
"I know that I will be ready to go when the time comes. My fitness is at a good level and it's just a case of getting the sharpness back in the gym. For some fighters this whole situation could be a blessing in disguise because you could easily find yourself in a fight that could really take your career forward.
"I'm certainly prepared to take a risk… I can't wait to get word when I'm fighting."
Promoter Eddie Hearn is expected to be the first to stage a bill on July 17 and Belfast man Conlan is then hoping to run a bill in London shortly afterwards.
"We've been working very hard to have shows in place and there are two dates we have pencilled in across the water and one in Belfast in August. The pandemic has changed the landscape in boxing dramatically, with all promoters and managers working together like never before. So, good match-ups will be made, there'll be exciting fights and that will give fighters the chance to really raise their profile," said Conlan.
All shows for the foreseeable future will be behind closed doors, with fighters wearing masks up until the point they enter the ring.
While the lack of atmosphere will offer a surreal experience, Ward is adamant it will not have any impact on his performance.
"For someone like me who has a good amateur background, I was used to fighting in empty arenas or those with very few people in them so it's not going to affect me. The bottom line is that you just have to adapt - as a professional if you don't fight you don't get paid," said Ward.