Thomas Ward Uses His Superior Boxing Ability to Defeat Edy Mercado
Although Thomas Patrick Ward (30-0-1, 4KO) has jumped between three divisions throughout his professional career, he is seen as one of the top super bantamweights hailing from the United Kingdom. He returns at featherweight after an abysmal performance in his last fight against Mexican journeyman Edy Mercado.
Ward’s most success came from super bantamweight since he picked up three minor titles there. This includes the coveted BBBofC British title. He is even ranked #3 and #8 by the WBO and IBF respectively in the division. However, he hasn’t fought there since February 2019. Since then, he’s fought four fights within the featherweight division. However, he has weighed well into the junior lightweight division for these fights.
In October 2020, he returned for his first fight of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a ten round event that was considered a super bantamweight bout, although, both fighter’s weighed-in over the division’s limit, he struggled with journeyman Thomas Essomba. Ward could never establish a good rhythm against his awkward foe and ended up leaving the fight in the eighth round with a cut above the left eye due to a clash of heads. Since the damage was due to an accidental foul, the scorecards were read as a draw. The decision of the ringside doctor to stop the fight at that moment may have been the best decision for Ward as he could have been on his way to receiving the first loss of his career.
The 27 year-old vows to redeem himself against Mercado.
Ward came into this fight with a much better game-plan. He looked much more relaxed and seemed to better understand his opponent. But in all honesty, Mercado was tailor-made for Ward. This was the perfect match-up to get the British fighter back on track after the last performance he put on.
The Mexican was just too slow to match his superior opponent in footwork and he did not have the ring I.Q or reaction time to adjust to Ward’s boxing ability. Mercado was essentially coming forward, running into jabs. As he tried to mount an offensive attack, Ward kept providing angles or stepping back to get out of range and countered the Mexican with ease.
Given his inability to show that he could adjust going into the second half of the fight, it became apparent Mercado would need to land something that would put Ward down and out. Problem is, he doesn’t posses that kind of power and of course could not deliver.
In the fifth round, a right hand looked to have landed and put Ward to the canvas. However upon inspection of the replay, it was clear the shot was caught on the glove and knocked the Birt off balance.
This fight was a routine boxing lesson delivered by Ward en route to a unanimous decision victory. Many of the British fans expect to see the ranked super bantamweight vying for a title shot soon!
By: EJ Williams