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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 11 August, 2020

Olympic medal prospect Ward goes pro after signing with New York promoters

The 25-year-old had been captain of the Irish amateur boxing team.

ONE OF IRELAND’S leading medal hopes for Tokyo 2020, boxer Joe Ward, has signed a contract with New York-based promoters Times Square Boxing to move into the professional ranks.

The 25-year-old, a three-time European champion, has confirmed he will turn professional with immediate effect, as first reported by The Irish Times this morning.

Joe Ward Joe Ward had been one of Ireland's leading medal hopes for Tokyo. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Ward’s decision is a blow to Team Ireland ahead of next year’s Olympics, with the Westmeath light-heavyweight also captain of the Irish amateur boxing team.

“My decision to turn professional was not easy,” he told The Irish Times. “I will miss my team, however, I felt the time was right for me and my family.

“I loved fighting for Ireland and had a very rewarding amateur career. I was happy that I could bring success and medals to my country, and that in the past few years I could help mentor some of my younger teammates.

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“I’m excited to represent my country in the professional ranks and bring a world championship home to Ireland.”

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