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Ward Stops Cantrell

Unbeaten super middleweight prospect Andre Ward (14-0, 9 KOs) stopped previously unbeaten Roger Cantrell (12-1, 8 KOs) on Friday night at the Beausejour Cricket Ground in Gros Islet, St. Lucia. Ward, 23, a former 2004 light heavyweight Olympic Gold medalist, was pounding Cantrell with huge unanswered shots in the 5th, prompting referee Jose Rivera to halt the one-sided bout at 1:56 of the 5th. Ward, 23, showed blazing speed at the start of the fight, hitting Cantrell with powerful left hooks and right hands repeatedly.

Though Cantrell was thought to have been a tough opponent for Ward, it didn’t turn out that way, as Ward punished Cantrell throughout the bout, rarely getting hit in return. It wasn’t as if Cantrell wasn’t trying, because he was throwing a lot of punches, but the problem was that Ward was much faster, allowing him to get out of the way of Cantrell’s slower shots before they would connect.

In rounds one and two, Ward landed mostly jabs and left hands, but they were thrown with a lot of speed and snap on the punches. By the end of the round, Cantrell, only 21, was cut under the right cheek, and looked flustered as he went back to his corner. Use to having his way against mostly soft opposition, Cantrell looked lost as he didn’t know how to deal with Ward’s lightning fast blows. In the 2nd round, Cantrell was cut under his left cheek, and now sported two cuts in the identical places on opposite cheeks. Ward continued to rely mostly on his left hooks and jabs, throwing very few combinations or right hands. It seemed as if he was trying to take Cantrell out with every shot, but Ward’s lack of combinations hurt him, as he’s not a real big puncher by nature.

In the 3rd round, Cantrell began to apply more pressure, trying to turn the fight into a slugfest. He was attempting to work his way on the inside, but having little luck due to Ward’s constant movement. Like in the other rounds, Cantrell barely landed a glove on Ward, as most of his shots missed badly.

In the 4th round, Ward began to land really hard shots, which sounded like firecrackers as they landed against the face of Cantrell. By this time, the referee began to closely watch Cantrell, looking like he wanted to stop the fight because it wasn’t competitive and Cantrell was taking a vicious beating. The round ended with Ward landing several huge head shots that snapped Cantrell’s head back violently.

In the 5th round, Ward continued his one-sided beating, hitting Cantrell with more blistering shots, while dodging his wild hay makers. Finally, Ward, sensing Cantrell was defenseless, began opening up with a series of powerful combinations, snapping Cantrell’s head back each time they landed. The referee Jose Rivera then quickly stepped in and stopped the fight to protect Cantrell from needless punishment. However, Cantrell was angered by the stoppage and protested loudly to the referee, pushing him twice during their discussion. The referee, to his credit, stayed cool and calmed Cantrell down.

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