Joe Ward and David Oliver Joyce flew out to Bulgaria and Kazakhstan today ahead of their second AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) fights in Sofia and Bulgaria on Friday.
Ward meets Uzbekistan’s Oybek Mamazulunov in Sofia over six rounds. Both men claimed bronze medals in the light-heavy class at the 2013 AIBA World Elite Championships in Kazakhstan.
Ward, the 2011 European champion, is ranked No. 6 in the world by AIBA and Mamazulonov, the current Asian champion, No. 2.
Joyce meets Italy’s ex AIBA World Elite champion Domenico Valentino in Almaty. Both lightweights will need no introduction as they have fought three times, Joyce winning two of those encounters.
Both Ward and Joyce lost out on their APB debuts last month in Sofia and Almaty to Russia’s Nikita Ivanov and Kazakhstan’s Berik Abdrakhmanov and will be looking to bounce back from those reversals this weekend, according to Irish coaches Billy Walsh. John Conlan and Eddie Bolger.
Mamazulonov and Velentino also lost on their APB debuts last month.