Ward triumphs in title bid

CHAMPION: Martin Ward
CHAMPION: Martin Ward

MARTIN Ward is the new Commonwealth bantamweight champion after a virtuoso display in Newcastle to outpoint and outclass Gabriel Odoi Laryea.

The 25-year-old from West Rainton was a unanimous points winner at the Centre for Sport.

Ward was never troubled by the African, who arrived for the title battle with a reputation as a fearsome puncher.

Judges John Keane and Andrew Wright both scored it 119-109 and Michael Alexander saw it as a 120-108 shut-out.

Ward, trained in Hartlepool, dominated from the first bell, using his southpaw jab and his equally sharp left hand.

His movement was exceptional, keeping out of range of Laryea’s long right hands.

It was a pattern which continued throughout the 12 rounds, the Ghanaian looking for the big shot and Ward using the ring and his skills to do all the scoring.

Earlier in the show there were points wins for Tommy Ward, Peter Cope, Anth Hardy and Danny Hughes.