Ward versus Essomba ends in disappointing draw
After ten rounds of competition, super bantamweights Thomas Patrick Ward (29-0-1, 4 KO’s) and Thomas Essomba (10-6-1, 4 KO’s) had to settle for an unsatisfying three-way draw. Going into the prizefight, Ward had a very favorable #7 ranking with the IBF and #3 with the WBO.
In the WBO, he was directly behind the extremely popular #2 Michael “Mick” Conlan (14-0, 8 KO’s) and #1 Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton (18-0, 8 KO’s). With a win, there was little doubt that Ward would have attempted to pursue a showdown with either of those high profile boxers. Now, those plans will more likely be put on hold.
FUN SUPER BANTAMWEIGHT SCRAP
For the first two rounds, Ward able to easily control the action with his superior height and length. Working behind his jab, he dictated the pace and pressed the action. Sensing he need to alter the dynamics of the fight, Essomba threw caution into the wind at the opening of the third. In this period, he intelligently bull-rushed Ward and found great success digging double-fisted hooks to the body.
While the Cameroonian enjoyed obvious offensive success, due to his size, Ward consistently punished him on the entrance and exit. Yet, it should be said while Essomba was taking shots, his defense was rather impressive, especially with his physical impairments. With the coming of the fourth however, the fight shifted a bit again. Now, Essomba’s left hand came destructively to life.
Throughout the round, he connected with a bevy of hooks to the head and body. Ward was never truly hurt or wobbled but his head was repeatedly twisted and he was far more mindful of his opponent’s incoming fire.
HERE COMES THE BLOOD!
In the seventh, things took a drastic turn for the worse for Team Ward. While in the midst of some great exchanges, the two fighters’ heads came together. Yet, it was only Ward who walked away with a long, jagged cut over his left eye. The gash, which ran roughly the length of his eye brow, began bleeding and troubling him near immediately.
Ward fought well in the eighth, however a defensively slick Essomba made his foe miss a great deal and appeared to take the period. Before a single punch could be thrown in the ninth, after the doctor’s inspection, the fight was waved off.
When the scorecards were read, the fighters had to walk away with a three-way draw. Most would argue that given how hard he came on, along with damage that he did, that Essomba deserved the nod. Yet, in this case it would be hard to call this bout a robbery or controversial. It would be great to see them run it back and settle this would-be budding rivalry once and for all.
By: Bakari Simpson