Patience is a virtue those around Joe Ward need warns Jason Quigley.
There has been massive excitement about the amateur stars move into the pro ranks. Not only have we heard the obligatory talk of world titles for someone with such a storied background, but seen statements with regard to ‘legendary’ status and Hall of Fame styled heroics.
Ward’s former amateur team mate, Quigley claims there is no questioning the Westmeath man’s talent, but does advise toward caution in terms of hype.
The World Championship silver medal winner believes the Moate BC graduate, who makes his debut on the undercard of the IBF middleweight world championship battle between Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin and Sergiy “The Technician” Derevyanchenko in New York this weekend, should be suited to the pros but notes that some adaption time is needed.
The now Andy Lee trained fighter urges fans to allow for that adaptation period before passing judgement.
He also cautions that the kind of questions that can never be asked in the amateurs will eventually be asked in the pros – and it remains to be seen Ward has the answers.
“The pro game will suit him well,” said the Ladbrokes ambassador.
“But boxing is called boxing and the key words are amateur and professional — because it’s two different sports.
“Nobody will know how Joe will handle going into eight, nine, ten, 11 or 12 rounds with somebody taking his best shots and still coming back.
“That just takes time and building and going through that apprenticeship. So I hope they don’t rush him because everybody has this big, high expectation of amateur fighters.
There are some who argue, that with an 8-1 World Series of Boxing record the 25-year-old Lou DiBella and Ken Casey promoted fighter has served somewhat of a pro apprenticeship. The fact he goes straight into six round action live on DAZN this Saturday suggests that may just be the case, but the Golden Boy middleweight points out not everyone can be a Vasyl Lomachenko and fight for a world title in just there second fight.
“They think, ‘Lomachenko’. He shocked us all and fought for a world title in his second fight. He was beaten but still . . .
“I hope they take him along nicely, so he doesn’t have too much pressure on his shoulders because it is a different sport.
“Some people take to it, some people don’t. I wish him all the best, I hope he enjoys it and I hope he goes on to become world champion.”