Martin J Ward dominates Ruddy Encarnacion to retain WBC international belt
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 16/04/16 9:33pm
Martin J Ward passed the expected test posed by the experienced Ruddy Encarnacion, out-pointing him over 10 one-sided rounds.
The Essex super-featherweight prospect remained unbeaten moving to 14-0-2-KO7 as he held on to his WBC international belt and looked comfortable throughout, despite the opponent's awkwardness.
The scorecards of 99-91, 100-91 and 98-92 underlined his dominance but more importantly, his latest win looks to have set up a British title challenge later this year.
"I enjoyed the fight," Ward told Sky Sports.
"I'm looking for the winner of the British title fight between Troy James and Liam Walsh.
"I'm mandatory. I'm settling down a bit more and being professional in all aspects of my performance."
The Brentwood boy knew taking Encarnacion into the second half of the fight might have been his best option and he got off to a lively start. The first round saw him on his toes, firing in the jab and the odd combination before the second saw him unload the right hand that would do the most damage.
Encarnacion might be 37, having taken the now retired Kevin Mitchell eight rounds back in 2009, but he was dogged and fired plenty of counters back, the odd right of his own landing.
But Ward was in complete control in the third and for the first time, sent the Spaniard stumbling back with a short left, proving that youth would prevail.
Strangely, the fifth saw the Essex man ease off a little bit but the sixth was a different story. A big straight right landed flush and had Encarnacion in serious trouble, but dazed and confused, his experience at least left him clinging on for the final minute.
Referee Ian John-Lewis gave him a ticking off and although he made it to the bell, trainer Tony Sims urged Ward to step up the pressure.
He tried in the seventh but two accidental head clashes opened up a cut on his hairline early on and with Encarnacion taking a tumble, the round ended up messier than his forehead.
Ward kept busy though and even if the knockout looked a distant dream with the minutes ticking down, his right and lovely left-right combination were still the stand-out skills on show.
But it was experience and endurance that will be a blessing further down the super-featherweight line - and the 24-year-old remained in control until the end.