‘He won’t be fighting any 1-30 guys, there is no point,’ assured Lou DiBella when he came to Dublin to confirm the signing of now former Irish amateur standout Joe Ward – and the American promoter has lived up to his word.
The decorated former vest wearer will jump straight into a six rounder and against an opponent well above the level of your average debut foe.
On October 5, at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, as part of the undercard to the Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin-Sergiy Derevyanchenko middleweight championship contest ward will trade professional leather for the first time against Marco Delgado [5(4)-1].
The former wrestler of note took up boxing at just 18 and had a solid if brief amateur career. The 27-year-old managed to win the California State Golden Gloves at 178-pounds in 2015 and left the amateur ranks with a record of 24-3.
The American’s first four fights since turning over in November of 2016 were ended by him inside the distance and his sole reverse came via split decision against Mike Guy last time out.
It has to be noted that Delgado’s opponents haven’t been of the highest quality, but he has shown power in pros and is above the level of the majority of debut opposition.
The Buddy McGirt-trained light heavy seems content with the level of first up opponent and is excited about making a statement of the high profile DAZN broadcast card.
“I’m really looking forward to making my pro debut at Madison Square Garden, which is a great venue to introduce myself to the boxing world as I enter the professional ranks,” said Ward.
“It’s going to be a special night that I will never forget. I’d like to thank my team, DiBella Entertainment, Murphys Boxing and Times Square Boxing Co., for the opportunity and I am excited to put on a great performance,” he added before his co promoter predicted strong Irish support on the night.
“Ken Casey and I are both thrilled that super prospect Joe Ward is debuting on the GGG-Derevyanchenko card,” said DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “We expect to see a lot of support from New York’s Irish community and believe it’ll be one of many New York City fights for Joe as he begins his rise up the ranks of boxing’s elite.”
“Joe is a world-class prospect and a future star, and we are incredibly excited that he can begin his journey as a professional at such a historic and venerated venue,” said Adam Glenn, CEO of Times Square Boxing Co. “This is an amazing way to start what we know will be a tremendous boxing career.”
Ward’s acclaimed amateur career includes 15 Irish National Championships, three gold medals at the European Amateur Championships (2017, 2015, 2011), a gold medal at the World Youth Championships (2010), and a gold medal at the World Junior Championships (2009). The 25-year-old also earned the silver medal at the 2017 World Amateur Championships in Hamburg, Germany.