Former Roscommon footballer finally set for pro boxing debut
By David Conlon
Former county player Donal Ward will make his pro boxing debut on the 30th of July at the Castleton Conference Centre in New Hampshire, USA.
The Loughglynn, Roscommon native has been added to the latest Boston Boxing Promotion’s installment and will punch for pay for the first time later this month.
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 professional in New York.
Ward adds further Irish interest to the Boston Promotions cards as he joins former St Francis amateur Matt Tinker on the bill. The westerner takes on fellow debutant Mike Taylor in his first fight without the vest.
Anyone looking for tickets or would like to provide Sponsorship he can be contacted ‘dwboxingfitness . Its hoped a large Irish contingent will make the trip to New Hampshire to cheer on Donal Ward and Matthew Tinker who is also on the bill.