SUNDERLAND heavyweight Warren Baister edged a close contest to progress to the quarter-finals of the Commonwealth Games this afternoon.

Baister beat Northern Irishman Steven Ward via a split decision after a bruising encounter that saw both fighters trade a series of heavy blows.

The Wearsider made a relatively slow start, but he improved as the fight wore on and was justifiably declared the victor after landing the more telling shots in the final two rounds.

Loading article content

Baister said: “I had a little bit too much adrenaline to start with and it took me a while to get my head together.

“The second round I started to pick it up and the third round I was fine but I got dragged into the trenches a bit.”

Baister was left nursing a cut eye, but is confident the wound will have healed in time for Wednesday afternoon's quarter-final against Canadian Samir El-Mais.

He said: "The eye is fine, just a little bit of glue needed to stick it together and it will be fine for my next fight."