Tommy Ward will not take to the ring again until he fights for the British title.
Coach Neil Fannan and manager Dave Garside hope to see their unbeaten super-bantamweight challenge for Jazza Dickens’ belt in the new year.
That will be it now for Tommy, next it will be for the British title.
And his farewell appearance of 2016 therefore proved something special at Ashington Leisure Centre.
Ward claimed win number 19 of his career and, arguably, the best as he “completely dismantled” Norbert Kalucza before stopping him in round four with a terrific left hook to the body.
The Hungarian was no hired dummy designed to make the 22-year-old look good.
Kalucza is a former Olympian with a fine pro record and he turned up meaning business, letting go with a first-round flurry.
But this was the night the younger of the Ward brothers turned it on with exquisite boxing skills.
His jab was perfect, his footwork amazing and speed dazzling, the left-left-right combinations which closed the first and opened the next round Kalucza did not even see.
Ward’s combinations scored at will and just when you thought he had eased his foot off the accelerator, bang, a perfectly-executed left hook to the body sent Kalucza to the canvas.
It left the Eastern European doubled up in agony – if referee Andrew Wright had gone up to 50, he would not have beaten the count and Ward had the second stoppage win of his career.
Garside said: “For me, that was his best performance to date.
“The other lad was a proper, live opponent with plenty of ambition, but Tommy completely dismantled him.
“His speed, timing and combinations were brilliant. That will be it now for Tommy, next it will be for the British title.”