9 May 2010 – By Leonard Gunning
Newcastles Martin Ward came through a tough battle with Ingle trained Mo Khaled to improve his unblemished slate to 6-0 (1KO) on the Murray vs Buckland undercard at Widnes and also fired a warning to Belfast banger Carl Frampton that any path to boxing honours wont be easy.
Ward, whose Grandparents hail from County Galway, was an international amateur and has enjoyed a successful and busy novice year as a professional but underrated Khaled, who is often brought in as an opponent, provided a stiff test for the industrious Ward.
The Tyneside based southpaw engaged in a bit of a ding-dong battle for the first two rounds with furious toe-to-toe exchanges between the pair which saw Khaled touch down in the first but that was not scored as a knock down.
Wards cleaner and relentless work in the final two rounds were enough to pull clear of the Sheffield based Qatar native and a flurry from Ward to finish the fourth was enough to seal the victory by a margin of 40-36 on referee Howard Fosters scorecard 30-26, although I had it very slightly closer.
A jubilant Ward explained I boxed him (Khaled) as an amateur and I knew he was going to start fast because I stopped him in the amateurs but as you seen the cream raised to the top. The only round that could have been a little bit close was the first, the second I took it and after that I dominated.
Wardy, who is edging his weight down to super-bantam, outlined his immediate plans stating, this leaves me with another win on the card and I am out again on the 4th of June on a Frank Maloney bill in Sunderland, according to my manager David Garside and Neil Fannan the key is to stay unbeaten this year and we will look for belts in 2011.
The unbeaten fighter is no stranger to Ireland and would like to get an opportunity to fight here again, With a name like Ward there is Irish connection and my Grandparents are from Galway. We have been offered a fight on the Paul McCloskey bill and I wouldnt mind going back over the water to fight.
I fought in Ireland a few years ago, I boxed Carl Frampton as an amateur and he is a good lad, the fight was pretty close and he got the decision in Westport. I think it was a bit of a hometown decision but I got a lot of respect for Carl, he is a good boxer and is going places. Ill let him win the Irish title and hopefully in the future we will have a British title crack.
Also on the undercard Manchesters developing Cruiserweight Liam Cullen extended his record to 2-0 (KO 0) with a convincing win over journeyman Mark Lewis.
Cullen opened nervously and was caught too frequently due at loose guard. The Northenden man established his jab in the second and bloodied his opponents nose in the second and grew in confidence as he moved well landing simple but well placed combinations. In the final round Cullen was almost skipping around the ring on the balls of his feet and loading up with heavier shots to take a shut out points win.
Trainer Joe Gallagher, whose parents hail from County Sligo, was pleased with his performance and revealed that Cullen was a hard worker in the gym and learning all the time. Liam is a good guy, he has only 5 amateur fights so is still in the learning process. This is still the pinch me stage of his career and he will be delighted to fight under these lights, its all experience explained Gallagher.