Joe Ward has assured fans the damage done to both his knee and career in New York are minor.
One of Ireland’s greatest amateurs looked set for a dream pro debut on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin versus Sergiy Derevyanchenko, live on DAZN and in Theater and Madison Square Garden.
However, there was a huge nightmare element to the Lou DiBella and Ken Casey promoted fighters profesional bow.
The three time European Championship gold medal winner had to retire in the second round after suffering a bizarre injury.
The Westmeath fighter’s knee went from under him as he stepped back to avoid a punch from opponent Marco Delgado. The knee dislocation meant he was unable to fight on and the referee awarded his American opponent TKO victory.
Considering the profile of Ward and the fact it would be a surprise to see him defeated at the highest of amateur levels, a debut reverse was always going to be big news.
The reaction has been sizable, as fight fans sympathized with the 25-year-old’s plight, but Ward has been typically reserved and calm in the aftermath.
The Moate BC graduate is adamant Saturday was a ‘small set back’ that will add to what will be a successful career.
Some have raised a similar to the 2013 European Championships where Ward was eliminated after dislocating his left kneecap versus Mateusz Tryc., but again Ward isn’t overly concerned, as doctors aren’t worried.
“I would just like to give everyone an update on last night it wasn’t my night it was just very unfortunate what happened to me,”Ward explained on social media.
“I would just like to thank all my true friends my family, the people who supported me and came to watch me. This is only a small setback. Everything was going really well with the training camp, we have been in America 5 weeks and also the fight was going to plan. I was taking my time, dominating the fight and it was just a matter of time before I would stop him. These things happen. According to the doctors it’s a short term injury that’s going to add to my story and I will be word champion, no doubt in my mind. I will be back soon but thanks very much.”