Martin Ward’s dreams of British super-bantamweight glory ended in a bloody defeat to Jazza Dickens.
The County Durham boxer vowed to go into the trenches against the champion and he did just that but the Scouser held onto his belt b y a split decision.
Ward began and ended the fight superbly but, in between, Dickens showed why he was champion with a good performance.
The Neil Fannan and Dave Garside southpaw was cut early on but fought with great heart to the end.
Many of the rounds though were difficult to score which was reflected in the scoring.
Howard Foster scored it 115-114 for Dickens, with Dave Parris marking it 116-112 to Ward, but Phil Edwards card of 116-113 taking the bout the way of the 27-year-old