Joe Ward to face Youth Olympic champion in second WSB fixture


Joe Ward has weighed in for his second World Series of Boxing appearance of the season.

The Moate light heavyweight is signed to the British Lionhearts and will feature in their away fixture versus the Italia Thunder at the Palazzeto dello Sport in Milan tomorrow night [Friday March 16th].

Ward will take on Bulgarian Blagoy Naydenov, the Youth Olympic light heavyweight champion in 2014.

A decorated amateur, Naydenov won European Junior and World Youth gold, both on home soil, as well as European Youth bronze before his big win in China.

The Bulgarian turned pro following his gold medal win but suffered a shock debut second-round stoppage loss to Romanian journeyman Ionut Tandafir Ilie and promptly returned to the amateur ranks.

Last year Naydenov competed in the European Under-22s but was eliminated at the quarter-final stage by Muslim Gadzhimagomedov – whom Ward defeated in the final of the European Championships a few months later.

Ward won his opening fight of Season 8 with a wide points win over Croatian Damir Plantic last month. His overall record over the five-round format is six wins, one loss.

Also featuring on the five-fight bill tomorrow night will be Claudio Grande v Will Cawley (flyweight), Kiril Rusinov v Dmitry Asanau (lightweight), Mirko Natalizi v Cyrus Pattinson (welterweight), and Guido Vianello v Frazer Clarke (super heavyweight).

The card will be shown live on BoxNation TV tomorrow from 5:00pm (Irish Time)

Following three fixtures each, France Fighting Roosters top the European Group with nine points, the Lionhearts are then in second place with seven points, followed by the Thunder with four and the Croatian Knights who prop up the group with a sole point.

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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]