TOMMY Ward left Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena a frustrated young man on Saturday night.
But the West Rainton featherweight, 20, left it a better fighter, having recorded his best win of his highly promising career when he outpointed tough South Afican Michael Ramabeletsa.
In the immediate aftermath, Ward rated it a “terrible” performance despite referee Mark Curry giving him the fight by five rounds to one.
“I could have been way better,” Ward said. “It was just one of those nights, a bad performance but I am thankful I came away with the win.
“I won comfortably but I did make it hard for myself, doing silly things, like leaning in a bit and trying too hard.
“I tried to make it a fight instead of using my boxing. I will learn from this and guarantee I will be 10 times better the next time out.”
One drawback for Ward was he suffered a cut to his left eye in the fifth, which required five stitches and puts in doubt his appearance at the Summer Rumble at the Stadium of Light ext month
Trainer Neil Fannan, while not thrilled with the display, said: “It was a good bout and a good learning fight for Tommy. It was a step up for him.
“Tommy gave us a few scares because Ramabeletsa knows how to swing a couple of decent shots.
“He answered some questions, like his punch resistance, and he is improving all the time.”