Martin Ward says it is too early to make any decisions about his boxing future.
The West Rainton boxer said he was devastated by the crushing defeat he suffered inside two rounds at the clinical and powerful fists of Abigail Medina on Saturday night.
Ward went into the intriguing European title confrontation at the Borough Hall in Hartlepoool optimistic that he would join younger brother, Tommy, as a major super-bantamweight champion.
Sadly for the 29-year-old, the Spaniard had not received his copy of the script,
Medina’s power floored Ward three times inside the first five minutes and while the southpaw bravely got to his feet, referee Giuseppe Quartarone correctly ended the bout at one minute, 29 seconds of round two.
Is it the end of the road for a gifted boxer? Probably at the elite level, yes, but it would be unwise, and unfair, to write off the southpaw, for whom the phrase ‘the noble art’ could have been coined for.
Ward would need to re-build his career with a win or two and after 30 bouts, six of them title affairs, will he choose to do so?
Certainly, the former Commonwealth champ does not want to go out on Saturday’s note.
“I’m devastated,” said Ward. “It’s boxing, he got me with a good shot, well more than one apparently, I can only remember the first one.
“He came here to defend his European title so obviously he was confident. But I was confident I could beat him and for two, minutes 56 seconds or whatever it was I gave him a bit of a boxing lesson.
“Then that happened, but it’s one of those things, it’s boxing. It’s happened to me once before, a long time ago, and I came back from that.
“It’s too early to decide what’s what, but that’s definitely not going to be my last fight.
“I sparred great and I truly believed I can win. But I’m gracious in defeat and humble in victory and I congratulate Medina. We had our game-plan but he executed his very well.”
All had began promisingly, but all that changed with a looping right to the head which sent Ward down at the end of the first round.
He was up swiftly, but in the second round Medina delivered a long right flush on the southpaw’s chin, sending the challenger to the canvas again.
Ward gave himself time to try to recover his senses and was up at “eight.”
Medina went straight back on the offensive and ruthlessly finished of the job and a right-left put Ward down near the ropes. He was up at “seven” but could barely stand and the Italian referee rightly waved it off.
Ward required lengthy treatment from the medical team but left the ring to warm applause.