KICKBOXER Sam Ward overcame a partisan home crowd to land himself a second English welterweight title.
The 26-year-old Chesham fighter is the new ISKA English K1 Champion after emerging victorious against Keon Li from the Aveley Gym in Essex, at the Circus Tavern in east London.
The win takes his record to 12 wins and no losses in his 14 professional fights and with the IKF governing body’s title also in his possession, he will be hoping to now have a shot at a British title fight.
Ward faced an opponent given vociferous backing at the outset, but by the end of the first round, he had silenced Li’s supporters in a discipline which is effectively a modified version of Thai kickboxing, where elbows are not used.
As soon as the bell rang for the start of the bout, Ward come out with hard punches and devastating knee strikes that buckled his adversary.
Ward dropped his rival with a bone shattering low kick that took him off his feet and brought him crashing down to the canvas, and by the start of the third round, the Bucks fighter’s fitness and skill were really telling.
After being put down on the canvas several times during the bout by Ward’s fast combinations, Li faded, and the unanimous points victory was never in doubt.