Moate light heavyweight Joe Ward is confident ahead of the European Championships in Samokov. The 21 year old has been hailed by many as one of the most natural talents to ever come out of Ireland and he is hoping to further prove that in Bulgaria.
It is a return to the tournament where Ward had one of his most famous wins, claiming gold as a 17 year old in Turkey after defeating Russia’s Nikita Ivanov back in 2011. The Westmeath southpaw was unable to defend his title in 2013 in Belarus after twisting his knee against Poland’s Mateusz Tryc in the last 16.
Ward noted that “time flies, it waits for no one. Four years ago I won gold and hopefully I can produce the goods and bring home the gold medal again.”
Ward recently had an unsuccessful stint on the AIBA Professional Boxing circuit, failing to qualify for the Olympics. He will now have to try qualify through the traditional route, and a return to 3×3 minute rounds. However, his spell in the longer format, he feels, has done wonders for his fitness and Ward claims that “my conditioning is probably the best it has ever been.”
“There are no excuse for me really this time out.”