NEW YORK – Joe Ward worked hard against an aggressive fellow southpaw Saturday night to keep his winning streak intact.

Ireland’s Ward fought through a cut for more than half of his eight-round light heavyweight fight against France’s Frederic Julan and won their bout by unanimous decision on the Teofimo Lopez-Sandor Martin undercard at Madison Square Garden. Judges Tom Carusone (78-74), Ken Ezzo (79-73) and Eric Marlinski (79-73) all scored their fight for Ward, but it appeared more competitive than the scorecards reflected.

Nevertheless, the 29-year-old Ward (8-1, 4 KOs) has won eight straight fights since he suffered a knee injury and lost his pro debut to Marco Delgado by second-round technical knockout in October 2019 at Madison Square Garden. Julan (12-2, 10 KOs) has lost his last two bouts by unanimous decision.

Julan seemed to know he was behind on the scorecards and went after Ward during the final round. He couldn’t hurt Ward, though, and their fight went the distance.

Julan landed an overhand left with just over a minute on the clock in the eighth and final round. A tired Ward merely attempted to keep his distance from an aggressive Julan for the remainder of their fight.

Ward connected with a right-left combination with just under 10 seconds to go in the sixth round. He also caught Julan with a short right hook just before the bell sounded to end the sixth round.

A counter right hook by Julan clipped Ward with just under a minute remaining in the fifth round.

Julan blasted Ward with a straight left hand when there just under 35 seconds to go in the fourth round. Ward took that punch well, but Julan landed another left hand and a right hook several seconds later, which made Ward hold him.

Julan also opened a cut around Ward’s left eye in the fourth round.

Ward held Julan for much of the final minute of the second round, but he unloaded a hard combination to Julan’s body just before it ended to get the judges’ attention.

Ward tried to control the opening round with his jab. He landed a straight left hand as Julan backed into the ropes with just over 30 seconds on the clock in the first round.

In the bout before Ward won, huge Polish heavyweight Damian Knyba remained unbeaten by stopping Emilio Salas in the second round of a fight scheduled for six rounds.

Salas’ handlers requested the stoppage while Salas was still standing because he had taken too much punishment in their brief but one-sided fight. Referee Harvey Dock halted the action at 1:50 of the second round.

The 6-foot-7 Knyba, of Wudzyn, Poland, improved to 10-0 and recorded his sixth knockout. Salas (7-4-1, 3 KOs), a southpaw from Yonkers, New York, lost by technical knockout for the third time in his 10-year pro career.

In the opening fight Saturday night, junior welterweight prospect Delante “Tiger” Johnson kept his perfect record intact by stopping Mike Ohan Jr. in the fifth round of their scheduled eight-rounder.

Cleveland’s Johnson (7-0, 5 KOs) unloaded a barrage of power punches after trapping Ohan near a corner barely a minute into the fifth round. Ohan didn’t throw punches back, which caused referee Steve Willis to step between them and stop their fight at 1:29 of the fifth round.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.