Former Roscommon GAA star open to pro move

Donal Ward is ready to go from trying to stop rivals scoring points on the GAA pitch to trying to score them himself in the ring.

The Roscommon middleweight and former inter-county half back admits he would be willing to enter the pro ranks if the opportunity arises.

The 30-year-old has significant amateur background being a former Intermediate champion and Elite Senior competitor as well as finishing runner-up in the Ring Masters (formerly New York Golden Gloves) last month.

Now living in Queens, the former Roscommon, New York, Kilmacud Crokes, and Western Gaels footballer told this week that he would like to join the growing list of Irish professional fighters operating around the world.

The Connacht man, who boxed out of Loughglynn in Ireland and now the New York Athletic Club, has toyed with the idea of punching for pay over the years, but feels momentum dictates now may be the right time to make the leap.

“It is something I’m very interested in. I would have thought about over the years but when my boxing is going well at the moment and I feel good I would like to give it a go and see where it takes me,” Ward told in a recent interview.

Ward made an impressive run to the finals of the Ringmasters last month at The Theater at Madison Square Garden where he lost a controversial split to Famous Wilson in the decider

The run to the finals seems to have given the former GAA star a boost and he feels a Madison Square Garden hosted finals night is the perfect platform from which to leap into the pros.

Indeed the New York scene has always been populated by Irish fighters throughout the years and is currently home to light welters Larry Fryers and Noely Murphy – with Mick Conlan and Katie Taylor also frequent visitors.

Check out this weekend for a full interview with Ward where he reflects on his amazing Ring Masters run, his background in boxing, and looks ahead to what’s next.


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: