By Tris Dixon
Martin J Ward added the vacant Commonwealth super-featherweight title to the Lonsdale Belt he won outright with a narrow win over Belfast’s Anthony Cacace at the SSE Arena in Wembley.
There was little in it with the final tallies reading 115-114, 116-114 and 116-113.
Ward seemed to find his stride in the second but referee Terry O’Connor had a word with them both trying to get them to tidy it up.
It was cagey in the third and it failed to catch fire in round four. Cacace was winding up with his left in the next, trying to land long shots to the head and body, but Ward was looking to pop him with short counters and then move away. Cacace did land a left hook on the break coming out of a clinch but O’Connor did not feel the need to warn him. He did, however, have words with both fighters again to open the sixth.
Not many clean shots were on the menu in round seven, but Ward had picked up a cut by his left eye in the sixth. It might have come from a Cacace straight left down the pipe or a short right hook.
“Four rounds to go and you’ve won the title,” Cacace was told in the corner by trainer Ray Ginley.
Cacace switched orthodox in round eight and it got rough in the ninth. Cacace picked up a warning for using his shoulder in close, but the Belfastman landed a left shortly after.
Cacace seemed to be landing more, even if no fighter was in complete control. It was close. Ward’s head movement and defence was tight, but that wouldn’t have been scoring points even if it was admirable.
He bled from the nose in 12th as both attempted to post a grandstand finish but neither could make any clear headway.
Both celebrated at the bell, thinking they had done enough to win. For all three judges, Ward had, becoming only the second traveller to win the Lonsdale Belt outright.
Ward moves to 18-0-2 (8), while Cacace lost for the first time, falling to 15-1 (7).