JESSICA Ward's fledgling boxing career is already going places, writes Dave Bettley.
After a controversial points defeat on debut at Harwich in Essex, she journeyed to Humberside on Friday and came away with her maiden victory.
The 13-year-old from Palacefields, Runcorn, enjoyed a unanimous points decision over Jessica Beedham from Hull Police Boxing Club.
Jessica, fighting in the 44kg weight division, is a former karate exponent who reached green belt over a two-year stint before deciding she'd had enough of the martial art.
She has been involved in boxing for the last 18 months and is among three girls at Bridgefoot ABC, who are eligible for bouts.
Her interest was spurred by the success of elder cousin Lee Ward, a national silver medallist in 2006 and from the same Warrington stable.
Jessica's dad Jason admitted to the family about having worries at the outset about his daughter's involvement.
He said: 'When she started obviously we had concerns - you don't want your daughter getting smacked in the face. But it is what she wants to do and she is made up with it.'
Despite wearing a body protector and a headguard, Heath College pupil Jessica may have to get used to sporting the scars of battle.
But it seems her opponents are presently coming off worse and feeling the force of the youngster's ferocious left jab.
Jessica is next in action on Thursday, March 29 when she will be much closer to home.
The bill is at Warrington Wolves Rugby League Club's Halliwell Jones Stadium.