Draw 'joke' on Ward's pro debut
FORMER Repton BC amateur Bobby Ward had to be satisfied with a draw in his pro debut at Wigan on Saturday night – but was cheered by the praise of former WBC world light welterweight champion Junior Witter after his fight. Ward, 22, the last English amate
FORMER Repton BC amateur Bobby Ward had to be satisfied with a draw in his pro debut at Wigan on Saturday night - but was cheered by the praise of former WBC world light welterweight champion Junior Witter after his fight.
Ward, 22, the last English amateur to defeat Amir Khan, turned pro after a five year break from boxing and looked unlucky to share the decision with Yorkshire rival Mo Khaled on Saturday.
Khaled, from the famous Ingle family gym in Sheffield, had won two of his last three contests and was a tough test for Ward's paid debut.
"Frankly, I did not want the fight, I had seen Khaled box before and knew he was a difficult opponent, especially for a fighter making his debut," said Ward's trainer Tony Sims.
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"But even so, I thought Bobby won the first three rounds with the fourth even. For me the referee's decision to give a draw was a joke."
The disappointed Ward was cheered by the visit of former world champion Witter to his dressing room at the Robin Park Centre after the fight.
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Witter told him: "Don't worry, you boxed well tonight and did enough to win the fight - but I was given a draw like that in my first contest and it did not stop me going on to become a world champion."
Ward certainly looked to have landed enough shots in the early rounds to pile up the lead, scoring well with two-fisted attacks and although he faded in the final exchanges, the Sheffield boxer seemed fortunate to share the points decision.
But Ward, who earned a string of amateur honours during his spells at Dagenham and Bethnal Green's Repton BC, when he won and lost in two clashes with Amir Khan, gets the chance to put a win on his record with a second bout inside a month.
He is booked for action on the undercard of a show staged by his promoter Mick Hennessy in July.