Title delights for Repton old boys
15:00 30 November 2016
PA Wire/PA Images
Davies and Ward land wins at Wembley
Repton old boys Ohara Davies and Martin J Ward celebrated double title success at Wembley on Saturday as they punched their way to points victories.
Davies won every round against Italian Andrea Scarpa, a two-weight Italian title-holder who was unbeaten in five years, and the winner was surprised by the reaction to his victory.
“I woke up on Sunday to loads of negative criticism, but more important I woke up as the new WBC silver champion!” said the happy Davies.
As a regular big puncher he was, for once, content to box his way to victory and after his best-ever win, he added: “Hit and not get hit, that’s the name of the game.”
The East Londoner showed plenty of discipline to pile up the points with long-range jabs against the six-foot tall rival, who was easily the toughest opponent Davies has faced in his undefeated amateur and pro campaigns.
The one-sided 120-108 scores of three judges confirmed a third points win for Davies alongside 11 stoppages and he is now number three in Britain, behind stablemate and world champion Ricky Burns and Jack Catterall.
Meanwhile, Ward climbed off the canvas to keep his British super-featherweight title on the Eddie Hearn bill and will look to continue rising to new honours in 2017.
Ward beat tough Scot Ronnis Clark on points, but said: “I was not at my best but I came through with my title, now I look forward to some big things planned in 2017.”
Another title defence looks set for the speedy 25-year old Ward, who will then seek more international success, ading: “It’s onwards and upwards.”
Ward’s speed and conditioning saw him to victory against the 31-year-old southpaw, who battled hard as he tried to land the biggest upset of his career.
However Ward fired enough effective jabs and follow-up hooks to stay ahead throughout the fight as he earned the cheers of the Wembley audience.
The stocky Scot always found it difficult to land his best shots against the bouncing Ward, but caught up with the ever-elusive champion in the 10th round.
Ward was clearly shaken as the Dundee fighter’s solid left hook dumped him on the canvas, but he climbed up after an eight-count grinning and ready to resume the action.
The knockdown may have swayed the judges to score the fight a lot closer than most ringside watchers expected at the final bell, with Ward a unanimous winner by 115-113, 114-113 and 116-112 margins.
The Eddie Hearn bill proved a tougher night for another ex-Repton amateur, as super welterweight Ben Hall suffered his first defeat in 11 fights.
The hard-punching prospect, who had pleaded for his chance against a big-name rival, was beaten in the sixth round by hard-hitting American Carson Jones.
It was a big step up in class for Hall and he made a confident start, landing solid hooks against the 50-fight veteran from Oklahoma.
However Jones was a dangerman who had scored 30 stoppages in his 40 wins and slammed back with fierce attacks that shook Hall in the fourth and fifth rounds.
The east London fighter had damaged his right hand and his Bethnal Green manager Peter Sims sensibly tossed in the towel to end the brave bid for the WBC Silver title.
“He was a class fighter, but I would like a return when my hand heals. I think it may be broken,” said the gallant Hall.