Tommy Ward beats Jazza Dickens to become new British super-bantamweight champion

Tommy Ward celebrates victory as Jazza Dickens walks away in anguish
Tommy Ward celebrates victory as Jazza Dickens walks away in anguish
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Tommy Ward is the new British super-bantamweight champ after a dramatic and bloody victory on his championship and TV debut.

The 22-year-old dethroned British king Jazza Dickens, in Leeds on a technical decision.

Referee Michael Alexander halted the gripping contest in the opening stages of round nine after Ward suffered a nasty cut above his left eye following an accidental clash of heads.

It meant the decision went to the judges scorecards and all three wise men at ringside scored it for the Hartlepool boxer.

Victor Loughlin and Howard Foster both saw it 87-85 with John Keane awarding it to the challenger 88-84.

It was a dream come true for Ward, who avenged the British title defeat by brother, Martin, against Dickens 18 months earlier which, ironically, had also ended in a bloodbath.

Tommy was quickly out of the blocks at the First Direct Arena against the Liverpool southpaw in front of the BT cameras.

His jab was deadly accurate and his right hand pretty sharp too in the opening two rounds and while Dickens got through with a few short lefts in the third session, Ward had the classier shots.

Round four was very cagey and the fifth similar, with Dickens plodding forward but Ward moving nicely, though both men landed two lovely combinations, Jazza a right-left and Tommy, a left-right.

A three-punch Ward combo was THE moment of the sixth, but Dickens rallied in the seventh and eighth rounds and he seemed to be building the pressure.

But when the heads came together in the ninth, Mr Alexander took the Dave Garside-managed boxer to the corner to be inspected by the ringside order, who instructed fdor thew contest to be stopped.

Ward celebrated with brother, Martin, and cornermen Neil Fannan and Michael Marsden, with Dickens looking frustrated at losing his belt.

Fannan said he was confident victory was theirs but did not take it for granted.

"I only gave Jazza a couple of rounds in my eyes with maybe a couple even," he said. "As soon as the ref said 'accidental' he could not go back on what he said.

"I don't ever take anything for granted but when it was going to the scorecards I just knew we'd won, I thought Tommy was a few up."