Dream result – Joe Ward avenges nightmare debut defeat

Joe Ward put to bed any issues he has concerning his nightmare debut with a solid performance in the early hours of Friday morning [Irish time].

Ward reacquainted himself with the opponent he first punched for pay against, Marco Delgado on a Ring City card in Puerto Rico – and ensured a positive outcome this time around.

A freak injury suffered in the second round of their first encounter – back in October of 2019- meant the multi European and World medal winner suffered a shock debut defeat at the famous Madison Square Garden Arena.

The 27-year-old Lou Di Bella promoted potential star of the future avenged the reverse live on NBC last night.

The Moate BC graduate, who finished the last fight clutching his knee on the canvas made it to the final bell this time and scored a wide points win.

Ward dominated against a wild and awkward American, who was as keen to disrupt as he was land big, to register a shut-out 60-54, 60-54, 60-54 win in a fight that was as much a test of temperament as skill.

Delgado came out aggressive and firing in the opening minute, Ward didn’t look too flustered and began to show his quality over the next 90 seconds or so. The short lead right hook and straight down the middle proved effective before Delgado went wild again.

Ward fought later than expected due to ‘timing issues’, but had none of them in the ring. The 2016 Olympian was accurate and full of neat combos but probably most impressive was how relaxed and calm he was against the wild, aggressive, and even rough house tactics his opponent brought.

There was more volume and variety from the Joey Gamache trained talent in the third but just when his opponent was in danger of fading he consulted the rough house tactics as a leveler.

A debate broke out between the third and the fourth as to whether the fight was set for four or six. By the end of the fourth Ward probably would have been content with the shorter distance. Delgado knocked him off his rhythm by holding, charging and wrestling.

The Moate man and former amateur standout did show why he is so lauded when given space but again his temperament was as equally impressive.

The fifth was similar as his unorthodox foe continued to disrupt without winning the round. The sixth was one of the Irish fighter’s best. He maintained his distance and used his footwork – and both allowed him to show off the skills he has.

In the end it was a good six-round workout against game and awkward opposition and a good win against a fighter with upset potential.

The win sees Ward improve to 3-1 while Delgado slips to 7-2.

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