European super-bantamweight championship: Martin Ward loses in round two to Abigail Medina

Martin Ward is beaten as referee Guiseppe Quartarone halts the bout. Picture by TOM COLLINS
Martin Ward is beaten as referee Guiseppe Quartarone halts the bout. Picture by TOM COLLINS
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Martin Ward's challenge for the European super-bantamweight title was ended in under five minutes tonight at the Borough Hall.

The 29-year-old was put down three times by champion Abigail Medina with referee Guiseppe Quartarone calling it off after one minute, 29 seconds of the second round.

All had began so promisingly in the first round at the Headland veune with Ward looking relaxed and composed.

Both champion and challenger landed good scoring shots in a gripping opener, but all that changed right at the end of the round.

A right to the head from Medina landed dead on timekeeper Stewart Lithgo's bell with Ward going down. He was up swiftly with Mr Quartarone making no count.

Ward seemed to have recovered for the start of the second, only for Medina to deliver a long right bang on the southpaw's chin, sending the challenger to the canvas.

The Neil Fannan-trained boxer gave himself time to try to recover his senses and was up at "eight."

Medina went straight back on the offensive and ruthlessly finished the job. Landing with both fists, his attack paid off and a right-left put Ward down near the ropes.

He was up at "seven" but could barely stand and the Italian ref correctly halted the bout.

Ward required lengthy treatment from the medical team but left the ring to warm applause, with the Spanish contingent then able to celebrate the victory of the 29-year-old from Barcelona.

"It was one of them things," said Fannan. "Martin looked, relaxed and everything was going just as we'd hoped.

"He was boxing and moving and then he caught on the temple and obviously he was shook up.

"When he came back [to the corner], he seemed all right so I said 'start again'.

"He can't have been as recovered as I thought because his feet were a bit slow and he got caught straight away [in round two].

"When Martin got caught he was hurt. If it had been the 10th round I'd have probably chucked in the towel.

"The referee gave him every chance, it's a title fight, but when he got up I knew it was going to be hard.

"At one point it looked as though he'd regained a bit in his legs and might fiddle his way through and fight him off.

"But the lad was in for the kill and the writing was on the wall."

Earlier in the night, Sunderland's Glenn Foot warmed up for a crack at Josh Leather's IBF European title when he outpointed Nathan Hardy, from Sheffield, over four rounds.

Hartlepool's Adam Cope made an accomplished pro debut when he also saw off Yorkshire opposition, beating Youssef Al Hamidi after four one-sided rounds.

There were two other debutants on the Dave Garside-promoted event at the famous Hartlepool venue.

Ferryhill's Terry Tyers opened the show with a points victory over fellow debutant, Paul Lovell, from Wrexham. It was a closer bout than the 40-36 scoreline suggests but Tyers finished the stronger and got the nod from referee Ron Kearney.

Redcar's Tom Hill also brought a large army of fans for his first steps in the pro game and the Peterlee-trained boxer gave them plenty to shout about, defeating wily MIdlander Kevin McCauley. Mr Kearney marked it 40-37.