Joe Ward dominates Youth Olympic champion to score second WSB win


Joe Ward eased to his second win of the season in the World Series of Boxing tonight.

The Moate light heavyweight, representing the British Lionhearts, was in action in Milan versus the Italia Thunder.

Ward dominated and defeated Olympic Youth champion Blagoy Naydenov (50-45 x3) to seal an away win for the Lionheats.

The wide victory saw Ward’s side pull away to a 3-1 lead, which ended at 4-1, and guaranteed overall victory.

Ward hurt and staggered the Bulgarian youngster throughout and said afterward that “I was always in control.”

“The guy was very passive, it was never in doubt. I probably won that fight at 50%, cruising. I’m looking forward to the next fight against the French, they’ll be more of a threat.”

The result brings Ward’s overall WSB record to 7 wins and 1 loss.

A third win of the season – from four fight nights – for the Lionhearts, they remain in second place in the group behind the French Fighting Roosters.

The Roosters were responsible or the Lionhearts sole loss in the opening fixture of Season 8 in Paris. The return leg, which will feature Ward’s 81kg class, will take place on a to-be-confirmed date in April in Newport Wales.

Ward is likely to face Bakary Diabira in this fixture, a three-time French champion and EU bronze medalist.

Holy Trinity lightweight Sean Duffy is the only other Irish boxer involved currently in the World Series of Boxing. The Commonwealth bronze medalist is also signed to the British Lionhearts but is yet to appear this season.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]