Martin Ward sees off Barcelona threat, plus wins for Dean Laing, Terence Wilkinson

Beware all visitors from Barcelona.

That will be one lesson Martin Ward will take from the latest win of his professional career, a wide points success against Johnson Tellez in Dunston.

Referee Ron Kearney awarded a 60-55 victory to the Hartlepool-trained and West Rainton-based southpaw after a decent six-round international bout on the Black Flash-promoted event.

It was only the third contest in the last 15 months for Ward, all against Barcelona opposition.

First, he was stopped by Spain’s Abigail Medina in Hartlepool in September 2017 for the vacant European super-bantamweight title before beating Nicaragua’s Jose Aguillar who came at him in a six-rounder in Darlington in March.

All looked to be running smoothly at the Lancastrian Suite where Ward was five rounds up on the Catalan resident.

But midway through the last, Johnson stung Martin with a left-right to the head and had the Dave Garside and Neil Fannan boxer in bother on the ropes.

After what seemed an eternity and following a cry from brother Jimmy to “get off the ropes” , Martin broke free and showed all was well by producing an ‘Ali Shuffle’ and a 30-second burst with both gloves to end the bout on a high note after that scare.

Dean Laing’s opponent also finished the final fight of the night strongly, but the Newcastle light-heavyweight had already built up a commanding lead and was a 59-56 winner over Chris Dutton.

The initial rounds were not pretty with Mr Kearney imploring the boxers to “tidy it up.”

Laing duly followed the orders in the third with some sharp rights to the head, while the fourth was equally impressive.

Dutton, who had none other than Junior Witter in his corner, found some form in the fifth thanks to a strong right or four and continued this into the last session.

Your punch-lines observer had it a point closer at 58-57, but Laing, part of the Black Flash stable in Manchester, and pictured above, deserved his fifth pro win.

In the show opener, another Newcastle man began the event in superb fashion.

Walker’s Terence Wilkinson registered his fourth pro victory with a 40-36 points shut-out against Fonz Alexander.

The Fonz might be in the journeyman department but you can’t take any liberties with him – he won in London last month against an unbeaten home boxer – and Wilkinson certainly didn’t.

Terence dominated from the outset, using a sharp jab and then switching attacks from head to body.

Alexander tried to get forward in the second but Wilkinson soon had him on the back foot again and that is how it stayed until just before the final sound of Stewart Lithgo’s bell.

Fonz did land a few left hooks at the end, but the Davy Ritson and Phil Jeffries lightweight was a fine winner.

The other bout was a six-round Manchester derby between busy Middleton middleweight, Darryl Sharp, and Black Flash star, Marcus Morrison, from Hattersley.

Morrison has spent his career getting his foes out early, while Sharp has established himself as one of the UK’s busiest professionals.

This match never really caught fire and Morrison had to be content with only his fifth points triumph, Mr Kearney marking it 60-55. Your reporter had scored it 59-56, but Marcus earned his win.

Words: Roy Kelly