Photo credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment
Rising prospect Patrick Day achieved more than a clean sweep unanimous decision victory in the fifth fight of his career on the August 14 installment of the Broadway Boxing series held at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in Manhattan. It was a valuable refresher course for the 21-year-old undefeated light middleweight from Freeport, New York who continues to grow and impress as he passed all of the tests in his first six-round fight.
Day improved to 5-0 (2 KO's) with a solid victory over Donald Ward, whose only other defeat as a professional came in a highly controversial decision loss to Top Rank's undefeated prospect Alex Saucedo in August 2012. While Day dominated the bout with several power shots, the evening did not go according to plan.
"I thought I would just break him down more with the jab. That's something I anticipated doing but it didn't happen. I was using my jab at moments, but I abandoned it at times. I have a good jab and don't want to get used to not throwing it because when I need it, I don't want to lose that muscle memory," said Day.
The awkward movement of Ward temporarily took Day out of his game plan until his corner reminded him to use the jab. Day found his groove after Round 2, landing a long jab followed by sharp right hands, left hooks and uppercuts. Ward took the shots well, switching to southpaw at times but getting caught with big right hands that left him bleeding from the mouth.
"I felt like he was doing that out of desperation," Day said about Ward's switch to southpaw. "He's a naturally orthodox fighter and he was giving me his best, but it just wasn't good enough. He was getting hit hard with some good power shots so I felt like he was pulling out all of his tricks just to try and establish himself to do anything."
Day quickly was able to make the adjustments to ensure such a trick would fail, positioning his foot on the outside and getting his jab over Ward's, landing a beautiful right hand that buckled his opponent midway through the fight. From that point on, Ward turned back to orthodox for the rest of the bout.
The uppercut proved to be an effective weapon for Day, taking advantage of a shorter opponent who ducked his head straight down. The ease in which Day was able to catch Ward with several uppercuts led to some neglect of the body. It is another aspect of his game that the 2012 National champion recognizes is crucial as longer-scheduled fights lie ahead for this talented young man.
"I've gotta' start going to the body earlier," observed Day who only began to attack downstairs against Ward in Round 5. "I've gotta' know that the fight is going a longer distance. I'll have more time to break them [opponents] down but the earlier I start, the better because they're going to fade in the late rounds."
All three judges scored the contest for Day with a shut-out performance of 60-54 over Ward, who fell to 5-2 (3 KO's). With the victory, Day defeated the toughest opponent of his career in his fifth pro fight and first six-rounder, remaining undefeated and a top young prospect promoted by DiBella Entertainment. He impressively passed this most recent test, yet the humble and amiable Day does not give himself the highest grade.
"If I kept the jab out a little more, like 10 or 15 more jabs a round, and hit the body a little more, it would have been an "A" performance but I give it a good "B+"/boxing/"B" performance."
Day hopes to be back in the ring by late September where he will look to build upon a strong performance and very promising career.
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