The world’s oldest boxer Steve Ward from Mansfield lost the final fight of his career as he was knocked down in the seventh round by German Andreas Sidon in a world heavyweight title contest.
The pair fought for the WBC veteran heavyweight championship title in Ward’s hometown of Mansfield but the 60-year-old was thwarted by his younger opponent, 54.
It was the first time the previously vacant title was fought for and hundreds of fans roared on Ward – including Paralympian swimming star Ollie Hynd.
Ward looked the brighter of the two fighters in the first three rounds and looked for the knock-out early on as he swung wildly for the German, but failed to land punches cleanly.
But as the rounds progressed Sidon was the fitter of the two and a right jab to Ward’s chin knocked him down and sealed the win.
Ward came out of the blocks like a train and a series of combinations left the big German, who has previously beaten Danny Williams and Audley Harrison, flustered.
Williams famously beat ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson.
In the second and third rounds Ward kept Sidon on the back foot and landed a flurry of left hooks and body shots as the German backed on to the ropes.
But it was evident Ward was tiring then on in as a string of wild shots missed the German who began to take the fight to his opponent in the fourth round.
Sidon continued to probe Ward with his left jab but found openings scarce as Ward defended well.
The German landed a number of body shots in the fifth round which left Ward blowing but he fought back valiantly.
Sidon dominated from then on, feigning shots to find an opening; and he caught Ward square on the nose in the sixth round.
Ward was shaken by a close-range right hook in the seventh round – and seconds later Sidon landed the decisive right jab to flaw his opponent.
Ward retires with a record of 15 wins and 41 defeats.
While the German won his 46th professional fight and 37th by way of knockout.