Debut delay for New York based Donal Ward

Donal Ward’s professional debut has been pushed back.

The former Roscommon County GAA footballer was meant set to punch for pay for the first time on Boxing Promotions Great American Boxing Bash.

The New York based Westerner was lined up to face Mike Taylor on a card Matthew Tinker was also scheduled to appear on.

However, both are off, former St Francis amateur has secured a fight on a Triller card and Ward is also off.

Ward told the Long Haul Podcast the bout was off “for different reasons.”

The 32-year-old has set his sights on securing another fight towards the end of August.

“I’m looking forward to getting started as soon as possible,” Ward said.

Ward already made the transition from GAA to MSG as he reached the Gloden Gloves finals in New York and comes to the pro ranks with an impressive amateur CV.

The New York based fighter actually began his amateur boxing career at Loughglynn Boxing club where he was coached by his father Frank. He won underage National titles all the way through the ranks, reaching a Senior Elite semi-final in 2014.

Before emigrating to New York, Ward worked as a Prison Officer in Cloverhill prison and represented the Irish Prison Service in the ring. He entered the 2013 World Police and Fire Games in Belfast and won light-heavyweight gold. Ward was also a talented Gaelic Footballer and played for Roscommon from 2010 to 2015.

Once in New York, he had further County football experience when he lined out at full back for New York in the 2018 Championship.

After retiring from football he returned to boxing, joining the New York Athletic Club. Coaches Mike Fulham and E.J Bourke entered him in the 2019 Ring Master Championships, formerly known as the Daily Star Golden Gloves.

In his four championship bouts he faced experienced well-known amateur boxers and acquitted himself so well he became the first Irish fighter to reach the Golden Gloves finals since 1989. In his opening contest, he defeated the defending champion, Brett Pastore. In the quarter-finals, he beat Emmanuel White from the Bronx, and in the semi-finals, Ward overcame Hosam Abdeldayem from Gleeson’s Gym.

The finals, held in Madison Square Garden, saw him face Famous Wilson. Many felt he was extremely hard done by in the final losing a 3-2 split decision.

Over the past few months, Ward has been in contact with former three-time Elite welterweight champion and World Championships bronze medallist from Arklow, James Moore – who boxed professionally in New York.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com