Superior skills won the fight for Ward despite late cut
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