Joe Ward (boxer)

Joseph Ward (born 30 October 1993) is an Irish professional boxer. As an amateur, he won gold medals at the 2011, 2015 and 2017 European Championships, silver at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships and bronze at the 2013 edition, and represented Ireland at the 2016 Olympics, in the light-heavyweight division

Joe Ward
Real nameJoseph Ward
Height6 ft 1 in (1.86 m)
Born (1993-10-30) 30 October 1993 (age 26)
Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland
Boxing record
Total fights1

Amateur careerEdit

2007 European Schoolboys ChampionshipsEdit

Ward won his first major international medal, a 56kg silver, at the 2007 European Schoolboys Championships in Portsmouth, England.


  •   T.Dogan: Won - PTS (17:2)
  •   Islam Khalidov: Lost - PTS (1:6)

2008 European Junior ChampionshipsEdit

Ward followed up this continental medal with a 63kg bronze in the Junior age group at the championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.


  •   Donato Cosenza: Won - PTS (17:2)
  •   Kiril Samodurov: Won - PTS (19:3)
  •   Vasile Bucur: Won - RSC (2nd round)
  •   Avak Uzlyan: Lost - PTS (6-20)

2009 World Junior ChampionshipsEdit

Ward won his first major gold medal in 2009, at the World Junior Championships in Yerevan, Armenia. Ward defeated Armenian fighter Hayk Khachatryan in the light-middleweight final.[1]


  •   Denis Rybak: Won - RSC (3rd round)
  •   Rustam Musaadzhiyev: Won - RSC (2nd round)
  •   Ravshanjon Abdunazarov: Won - PTS (12:2)
  •   Hayk Khachatryan: Won - RSC (3rd round)

2010 World Youth ChampionshipsEdit

In May 2010, Ward won his second World title at the World Youth Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. He defeated Australia's Damien Hooper in the final, this time at middleweight.[2]


2010 Youth OlympicsEdit

Ward's gold in Yerevan qualified him for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. However, a painful hand injury suffered in the opening round of his opening bout versus Damien Hooper would scupper his medal hopes and, one-handed, he would lose to his Australian rival.


2011 European Amateur ChampionshipsEdit

At the 2011 European Amateur Boxing Championships in Ankara, Ward met Nikita Ivanov in the light-heavyweight final, where he took the gold medal after a 20-12 victory over the Russian to become Ireland's youngest ever Senior European gold medallist.[3][4]


2011 World Amateur ChampionshipsEdit

Ward suffered his first Senior defeat at the 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Irish teenager reached the Round of 16 where he was eliminated on a countback by Iranian veteran Ehsan Rouzbahani.


2013 European Amateur ChampionshipsEdit

After the Rouzbabhani defeat and his subsequent controversial[5] loss to Bahram Muzzafer in the Olympic qualifiers in Trabzon, Ward's bad luck continued at the 2013 European Amateur Boxing Championships in Minsk. Here the reigning champion was eliminated in his opening fight where, winning handily, he was forced to pull out in the final round after a clash of knees with Mateusz Tryc.[6]


  •   Mateusz Tryc: Lost - RSCI (3rd round)

2013 World Amateur ChampionshipsEdit

In October 2013, at 19 years of age, Ward won a bronze medal at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in Almaty. Ward lost to title holder, 2011 World Champion Julio César la Cruz in the semi-final. The Cuban went on to retain his title with a gold medal in the final.[7][8]


2015 European Amateur ChampionshipsEdit

Ward won his second European gold in Samokov, Bulgaria in August. Despite an accidental clash of heads opening up a small cut above Ward’s left eye, he continued a stylish performance to seal victory over Dutch fighter Peter Müllenberg in the final.[9]


2015 World Amateur ChampionshipsEdit

In October, Ward returned to the World Championships, this time in Doha. Ward made it to the final but missed out on gold when he once again met world champion Julio César La Cruz. The '2015 AIBA World Boxer of the Year'[10] made it three consecutive world championships despite a brave performance from Ward - five years his junior.[11]


2016 OlympicsEdit

Ward's performances at the World Championships in Doha saw him earn qualification for the Olympics. One of the pre-tournament favourites, Ward was controversially eliminated in his opening bout following two separate points deductions which handed Ecuadorian Carlos Andres Mina a split-decision win.[12]


2017 European Amateur ChampionshipsEdit

Ward won his hat-trick of continental golds at the 2017 European Amateur Boxing Championships in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Ward strolled to the final with a trio of facile, one-sided wins before overcoming Russian Muslim Gadzhimagomedov in a cagey gold medal match.[13]


  •   Matus Strnisko: Won - PTS (5:0)
  •   Sean Lazzerini: Won - PTS (5:0)
  •   Valentino Manfredonia: Won - PTS (5:0)
  •   Muslim Gadzhimagomedov: Won - PTS (5:0)

2017 World Amateur ChampionshipsEdit

Ward was again denied in a World Championships final by Julio César La Cruz in September 2017. Ward, the Irish team captain, made it to the final in Hamburg following wide preliminary wins over Iago Kiziria and Mikhail Dauhaliavets, before a dramatic split decision win over Bektemir Melikuziev. Versus La Cruz, Ward pushed the Cuban closer than ever but was still defeated.[14]


World Series of Boxing careerEdit

Season ThreeEdit

Ward was signed by the British Lionhearts franchise for the third season of the World Series of Boxing which spanned 2012 and 2013. Fighting over the five-round format, Ward posted five wins and one loss in his opening season.


Season SevenEdit

Ward returned to the pro-styled format and the British Lionhearts in 2018 where he topped the individual light heavyweight rankings for the regular season following three dominant wins.


  •   Damir Plantic: Won - PTS
  •   Blagoy Naydenov: Won - PTS
  •   Bakary Diabira: Won - RSC

Professional boxing careerEdit

On 7 June 2019 it was announced that Ward had passed on attempting to qualify for a second Olympics and would sign a pro contract with the New York-based Times Square Boxing Co. with Lou DiBella and Ken Casey offering advisory roles.[15]

Ward began his pro career on 5 October 2019 at Madison Square Garden and it would end in disaster as the fighter dislocated his kneecap. The freak second-round injury in his bout with Marco Delgado handed Ward a technical knockout defeat.[16]


  1. ^ "Ward crowned World Junior champion". RTÉ Sport. 30 May 2011. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Joe Ward wins gold for Ireland in Baku". RTÉ Sport. 3 May 2011. Archived from the original on 6 May 2010.
  3. ^ "Moylette, Ward claim golds in Turkey". Irish Times. 24 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Moylette and Ward win European boxing golds". RTÉ Sport. 24 June 2011. Archived from the original on 26 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Boxing: Irish camp cries foul as Ward's Olympic dream dies". Irish Independent. 17 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Boxing: Ward dream in tatters after freak injury". Irish Independent. 4 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Jason Quigley to box for gold but Joe Ward beaten at Worlds". Irish Independent. 25 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Quigley and Ward return with World Championship medals". Irish Examiner. 27 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Boxers Michael Conlan, Joe Ward take gold". Irish Times. 16 August 2015.
  10. ^ "'I showed I can mix it with the best' - Silver for Joe Ward as classy Julio Cesar La Cruz proves a step too far". Irish Independent. 15 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Joe Ward has to settle for silver in Doha". Irish Times. 15 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Rio 2016: Joe Ward left to rue docked points as Olympic dream ends". Irish Times. 11 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Another first for Joe Ward as he creates Irish boxing history". Irish Times. 25 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Ward misses out on world championship gold in Hamburg". RTÉ. 2 September 2017.
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