Thomas Patrick Ward (26-0) made an impressive United States debut on February 15 with a victory over Jesse Angel Hernandez (12-2) over 10 one-sided rounds in a WBO World title eliminator.
The 24-year-old super-bantamweight was vastly superior than the American, 28 from Fort Worth, Texas, in everything he tried and all three judges at ringside scored it widely to the County Durham star with points of 98-90, 99-90 and 100-89.
The West Rainton puncher has just four knockouts to his name, three of those coming in the last eight fights, but he dropped Hernandez late in the fourth-round with a peach of a left hook delivered perfectly.
The former British champion landed numerous straight shots, controlling the action with a completely dominant display, televised by Showtime as the opener of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” doubleheader from Kansas Star Arena.
Hernandez persistently searched for the knockout he needed during the 10th-round, but he couldn’t land anything to change the course of their fight. An aggressive Ward went for the knockout toward the end of the penultimate round, which resulted in an entertaining exchange when Hernandez was backed up on the ropes.
Referee Bill Clancy warned Hernandez on a few occasions to show him something, clearly considering ending the fight early to save him further damage but he hung in there to hear the final bell.
The southpaw's defeat count doubled and Ward received the vacant NABA-USA super-bantamweight title.
Originally, the world title final eliminator was with the International Boxing Federation (IBF) slating slated to take on Mexico’s Cesar Juarez, but the fight fell through. Ward will next face WBO World super-bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete (26-1).