Joe Ward accomplished Thursday night what he intended to do the first time he fought Marco Delgado.
The Irish light heavyweight prospect defeated Delgado by unanimous decision in their six-round rematch. Judges Gerardo Martinez, Charlie Ruiz and Jose Roberto Torres each scored all six rounds for Ward, 60-54.
The 27-year-old Ward’s win enabled him to avenge an injury-related, technical-knockout loss to Delgado in his pro debut in October 2019 at Madison Square Garden. NBC Sports Network aired Ward’s victory as part of its “Ring City USA” series from Albergue Olimpico in Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Ward improved to 3-1 (2 KOs). Delgado, of Turlock, California, lost for just the second time in four years as a pro (7-2, 5 KOs).
Ward did a better job during the sixth round of preventing Delgado from tying him up, though that round didn’t include a lot of clean punching.
The fifth round was marred by a lot of holding and wrestling. Delgado landed a right hand with just under a minute to go in the fourth round.
Delgado tied up Ward several times during the third round. Referee Jose Hiram Rivera warned them for holding in the final minute of the third round.
Ward landed a straight left that got Delgado’s attention with just over a minute remaining in the second round.
Ward’s left hand made Delgado circle away from him just before the halfway point of the first round. Ward backed up Delgado again with another left hand that landed with just over 30 seconds to go in the opening round.
In their first fight, Ward took an awkward step backward while trying to avoid a punch from Delgado early in the second round. The decorated amateur’s left leg buckled under him and he couldn’t continue due to a serious injury that left him writhing in pain.
In the bout before Ward avenged his defeat, Alma Ibarra beat Maricela Cornejo by unanimous decision in an eight-round women’s middleweight match.
Mexico’s Ibarra defeated Los Angeles’ Cornejo on the scorecards of all three judges – Gerardo Martinez (79-73), Charlie Ruiz (77-75) and Hernando Steidel (79-73).
Ibarra (8-1, 4 KOs) bounced back from a 10-round, unanimous-decision defeat in her last fight to San Francisco’s Raquel Miller (10-0, 4 KOs). She hadn’t boxed in the 15 months since Miller beat her at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.
Cornejo (13-5, 5 KOs) is 1-3 in her past four fights.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.