A steady barrage of shots to Ward’s crimson face in the all-Irish scrap forced a stoppage of the women’s 106-pound final at 1:35 minutes of the final stanza, earning O’Sullivan her third Gloves championship in five years.
Ward, a Manhattan model/actress whose father emigrated from County Kerry, won silver for the second time. Both fighters received a bye to the final because of the low entry in the 106-pound division.
O’Sullivan, who’s 33 and was representing Gleason’s Gym, thanked trainer Devon Cormack for the win and said their hard work had paid off.
“I felt good the all day, relaxed and awesome and nothing held me back,” the petite Dubliner said after her brutal victory.
Although ring rusty in her first competitive fight since losing in the 2007 final, Ward was able and willing to take punishing from the 2005 and 2006 titlist for most of the fight.
After a slow and sluggish opening round for both fighters, Sullivan got to business following a wake up call from Ward in the form of a solid right hand.
She opened up with a fusillade of punches that bloodied Ward’s nose and forced the referee to give the Trinity B.C. fighter the first of three standing-eight counts. The other counts came in the third and four rounds
O’Sullivan couldn’t miss with a steady flow of straight lefts and rights and despite her “Ruthless Ruth” moniker, felt that the referee should have stopped the bout earlier.
“I felt sorry for [Ward]. I really felt bad for her but she kept coming at me so it was me or her,” O’Sullivan said. “Her blood was all over me and I thought the referee would stop it a couple of times. She has a lot of heart.”
While Ward kept fighting back, her punches, according to O’Sullivan, lacked steam.
Cormack was happy with O’Sullivan’s performance. “She did a good job and could have ended it sooner,” he said. “I’d have liked her to [throw] more body shots.”
On her future plans, O’Sullivan said she’d take things “one day at a time.”