Boxing: Martin J. Ward celebrates winning British super featherweight title outright with family
- Credit: Archant
Former Dagenham BC amateur now has the Lonsdale belt for keeps
It was a family affair as Martin J. Ward celebrated his title triumph in the Wembley Arena ring on Saturday night, winning the Lonsdale belt outright and taking the vacant Commonwealth super featherweight title.
Brother Bobby carried him around the ring with arms aloft and the rest of the Ward clan, including father Martin Snr. and brother Johnny, enjoyed the moment.
Their man took a tight, but unanimous verdict over unbeaten Belfast battler Anthony Cacache.
“It was a night I will never forget, beating a good fighter to win the belt outright and take the vacant Commonwealth title, with a big thanks to the fans who came out and supported me,” said Ward.
The talented 26-year-old, who launched his amateur career at Dagenham BC, has come through several setbacks.
Ward turned pro after being ignored for the 2012 Olympics in London and has shaken off serious injuries suffered in a shotgun attack to make his boxing dream come true.
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He rated Cacache as his toughest challenge yet and it proved that way as the long armed Northern Irish southpaw, with 15 straight pro wins to his credit, fired accurate jabs from a distance to the delight of his band of Belfast fans.
However, ring technician Ward soon found his way past the jab to fire his effective close range attacks as the bout swayed between the pair, with almost every round closely contested.
The 28-year-old Northern Irish challenger predicted Ward had suspect stamina and would fade over the late rounds of a hard championship clash.
However, it proved the opposite with the champion showing the superior staying power to score decisive points in the closing stages to complete his 20th unbeaten pro contest.
The Wembley crowd anticipated a tight result, while both men celebrated with their cornermen as if confident of victory.
The judges scoring, though, went in Ward’s favour, with the former Dagenham BC man winning 115-114, 116-114, and 116-113.
The margin was narrow, but the smile on Ward’s face was wide as he said: “I owe a lot to my trainer Tony Sims.
“Tony had me in great shape and the whole team was behind me.”