‘Excited’ Joe Ward makes Olympic debut tonight

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By IABA Press Officer Bernard O’Neill

Joe Ward makes his eagerly anticipated Olympic debut tonight versus dangerous Ecuadorian light heavy Carlos Andres Mina.

Both men will be in the ring for the 81kg clash at approximately 11:15pm this evening (Irish time) in what is the third last fight on the program,

“This is what all the training camps and preparations are for the last few months. It’s always been my dream to box at the Olympics and I’m very much looking forward to making my debut,” said Moate BC’s Ward.

The experienced Mina, who has a record of 211 bouts, booked a ticket for Rio after finishing in 1st place in the American qualifiers in Buenos Aires, Argentina earlier this year.

An orthodox, the 24-year-old Quito-native has one notable victory under his belt. He beat Cuba’s Julio La Cruz, the #1 seed in the division in Rio, on a split decision in the World Series of Boxing last year in Havana, Cuba, a five round fight as opposed to three rounds in Olympic boxing.

Ward, the current European Elite champion, qualified for Rio after reaching the 81kg World Elite final in Doha, Qatar last year, where he lost to La Cruz in the decider.

Meanwhile, Aram Avagyan (Armenia) and Arashi Mariska (Japan) meet on today’s program. The winner will advance to face Belfast’s Michael Conlan, the #1 seed in the bantamweight class, on Sunday.

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