Tokyo Olympic medal gold hope Joe Ward is on the verge of turning pro.
Indeed, according to respected boxing scribe Kevin Byrne of The Sun the jewel of the High Performance Team may ditch the vest before the Summer is over.
It’s believed American based promoter Lou DiBella is the current favourite to secure the 25 year old’s signature, but with news he is ditching the vest becoming widespread via the Sun other top promoters may put offers on the table in the coming weeks.
It was rumoured earlier in the year that the Moate BC man was close to signing with Matchroom. There was talk of a 12 fight two year deal for significant money with Ward set to debut in Philadelphia on a card that Katie Taylor, Jono Carroll and John Joe Nevin all appeared on.
However, that deal fell through and DiBella who has worked with Matthew Macklin and Andy Lee in the past is said to be the current front runner.
There will be some hopeful that Ward, who was set to captain Ireland at this month’s European Games in Minsk, will retain the vest and efforts will no doubt be made in that regard.
However it’s believed the talented operator hasn’t been seen on South Circular Road for some weeks now cementing a belief he will turn over.
The Westmeath light-heavyweight has won three European gold medals and has three World Championships medals to his name as well- two silver and one bronze.
All that was missing from the 2009 World Junior and 2010 World Youth Championship winner’s collection is an Olympic medal. Toyko 2020 was meant to the be place and time to amend that, but it seems Ward wants to get moving in the pro ranks.
It’s a massive blow to the High Performance and would effect their Tokyo medal projections.