Joe Ward to fight in World Series of Boxing tomorrow night

Joe Ward is back in the World Series of Boxing and will kick his season off tomorrow night.

The Moate light heavyweight rejoined the British Lionhearts for the 2018 season – with no major AOB tournaments on the calendar – and will have his seventh fight in the five-round format in Gateshead.

Ward will box Croatian Damir Plantic as part of the British Lionhearts v Croatian Knights fixture.

The Balkan turned pro in 2016 and racked up three first-round knockouts before returning to the amateurs. Last year he won European bronze, being beaten by Muslim Gadzhimagomedov – who would go on to lose to Ward in the final. In the subsequent World Championships, Plantic was eliminated in the Round of 16 by Carlos Mina of Ecuador – who had previously defeated Joe Ward in his opening bout of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

24-year-old Ward said that “I’ve boxed in the WSB before, so it’s something that I’m used too and I’ve always enjoyed the five round format of the WSB.”

The Lionhearts lost their opening fixture of the season last week, going down 3-2 to the France Fighting Roosters in Paris. On the same night, the Knights were also defeated 3-2 by the Italian Thunder in the European Group’s corresponding fixture.

The other bouts tomorrow night (Lionheart boxer first) see Kiaran MacDonald take on David Alaverdian at flyweight, Calum French face Matteo Komadina at lightweight, Pat McCormack fight Rudan Mate at welterweight, and Patrick Mailata showdown with Marijan Brnic at super heavy.

The card will be shown LIVE tomorrow night on BoxNation, with coverage starting at 8:00pm.

Previously Ward participated in the third season of the competition, which spanned 2012 and 2013, winning five of his six fights – his sole loss coming to Algerian Abdelhafid Benchabla.

Due to his WSB commitments, Ward has not entered the 2018 National Elite Seniors, leaving a gap which Tony Browne, Brian Kennedy, Robert Burke, David Tsotsoria, Karol Blugosz, and Caoimhin Hynes are vying to fill.

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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]