Su­pe­rior skills won the fight for Ward de­spite late cut

Sunday Sun - - Boxing -

TOMMY Ward had his cuts man to thank as much as his twin­kle toes and su­pe­rior box­ing skills when he de­fended his Bri­tish su­per-ban­tamweight ti­tle at New­cas­tle Arena.

Like Jeff Saun­ders who fought be­fore him, the 23-year-old from West Rain­ton is fol­low­ing in his older brother’s foot­steps and, thanks to the back-up team who sup­port both, he was able to avoid the trap Mar­tin un­wit­tingly fell into.

Three-and-a-half years ago, Mar­tin fought Dar­ling­ton’s Stuey Hall for his IBF world ban­tamweight ti­tle at the same venue but his push for glory never got off the ground, ended by a first-round clash of heads.

In Tommy’s case, his con­test with Sean Davis was into its sixth round when the pair clashed heads, open­ing up a wound above the cham­pion’s right eye.

Even with Ward’s bouncy style pump­ing the blood around his body a at break­neck speed, his team kept the cut un­der con­trol – just.

It was only really an is­sue in the penul­ti­mate round, and by then the fin­ish line was close enough.

At that stage blood was start­ing to pour from Davis’ right eye too.

Un­til the clash,Ward had looked in com­plete con­trol de­spite al­low­ing his game chal­lenger to take the ini­tia­tive.

Ward’s feet were as fast as his hands, and he did not just set­tle for dodg­ing hits, launch­ing coun­ter­at­tacks when the op­por­tu­nity pre­sented it­self.

For Davis, it must have been like try­ing to fight smoke at times, but he was un­re­lent­ing in his at­tempts to try any­way.

Land­ing a cou­ple of good com­bi­na­tions in the third round, Ward had looked ca­pa­ble of eas­ing to vic­tory un­til the clash of heads, but in­evitably his high-oc­tane style was go­ing to be hard to main­tain, even if he did give it a pretty good shot.

All the judges recog­nised Ward’s su­pe­ri­or­ity, one giv­ing him vic­tory by a 117-112 mar­gin, the other two

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