York Hall - Rossington’s Maxi Hughes and Brentwood’s Martin J Ward slugged it out for a controversial draw in their British Super featherweight title eliminator on Saturday night.
Favourite Ward started the ten rounder strongly but an upset looked on the cards in the 2nd round when he found himself on the canvas and taking a count in the corner.
The knock down looked legitimate in real time but upon closer inspection, Ward went down as much from a head clash as the left hand that accompanied it.
Ward rallied behind a solid jab and straight right follow up but Hughes also enjoyed success with the left hand from his southpaw stance. Ward was on the deck again in the 4th and again received a count, but this one seemed obviously a slip even though a punch brushed him on the way down.
Right or wrong, Hughes was in the driving seat with two knock downs to his credit. Ward rallied again and came back busier. He had the upper hand for in patches without really dominating.
Many of the rounds were close and could have gone either way. There was plenty of action although nether managed to land a really telling shot in order to shift the momentum their way.
If you scored both the knockdown’s (which presumably all three judges were compelled to do) then Hughes looked to be the winner but without them, a draw was probably a fair result.
The final cards were 95-94 for Ward, 95-95 and 94-94 so a rematch looks to be the best way to find a winner from these two.
The Prizefighter tournament (Lightweights III) that also took place on Saturday night produced a big upset when 3 fight novice Jono Carroll captured the trophy and trousered the £32,000 winner’s cheque.
Throwing non stop from start to finish, the young Irishman upset the 2nd favourite, Stephen Foster Jr. on a split decision in the quarter final and then bested tournament favourite Gary Buckland in the semi, again on a split.
Carroll was a more comfortable winner in the final against Luton’s Michael Devine, taking unanimous decision 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.
Foster and Buckland are two pretty good names to have on your record after only 6 pro fights so the future looks rosy for Carroll.
The other Prizefighter contestants were Danny Connor, Le Martin, Floyd Moore and Craig Wyatt.
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