Showtime’s ShoBox has been a blessing for introducing young American boxing talent to the public. Countless top-notch world champion Americans fighters have made their US television debut on their program. However many great British champions have also made their US television debut on ShoBox as well. Tyson Fury, Ricky Hatton, and Carl Froch are three of the greatest British champions ever. All three of them made their debut on American television on the Showtime program, this is an encouraging pattern for this weeks Fighter Of The Week. Thomas Patrick Ward put on a nearly perfect performance at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas. Ward captured the vacant NABA – USA Super Bantamweight Title in impressive fashion taking a lopsided UD over a game opponent in Jesse Angel Hernandez. A fight that most thought was going to be 50/50 heading in was anything but. Starting in the fourth round the Brit took over showing off impressive lateral movement, quick combination punching, high ring IQ and surprising pop that his four knockouts in his 26 knockouts would at all indicate
The opening two rounds saw a cat and mouse battle between Hernandez and Ward. Hernandez was switching back and forth between the southpaw and conventional stance trying to confuse and catch Ward off guard. However, Ward was able to stay out of the aggressive Texans range and mostly outbox him. Hernandez came on in the third round catching Ward cleanly with flush hooks and straight right hands. Ward turned the tides in the fourth round and stayed in control. The West Rainton fighter has just four knockouts to his name, three of those coming in the last eight fights, but he dropped Hernandez late viciously in the fourth round with a perfect left hook. Hernandez was able to get to his feet, barely, and was saved by the bell as the round came to an end when he was on the canvas. and was allowed to continue. From the fifth round on Hernandez stayed aggressive and tried to score the knockout he needed buy was no match for the movement and clean combination punching of Ward who took a one-sided decision by scores of 98-90, 99-90, 100-89.
Ward’s performance was more than impressive, it was masterful, and in a 122-pound division that is ultra competitive but not ultra top heavy, this nationally televised performance is going to move him rapidly up through the rankings. Ward has solidly elevated his name into contender status. All the current champions at the weight class Rey Vargas, Daniel Roman, Emanuel Navarrete, and TJ Doheny are solid fighters but none are viewed as anywhere near unbeatable. As Ward’s star grows in both the UK and the US a Ward world title shot verse any of those names would be a winnable fight for the Brit as well as a big payday for all parties involved.