Joe Ward to fight in WSB semi-finals


Joe Ward has, unsurprisingly, been selected by the British Lionhearts for their upcoming World Series of Boxing semi-final.

The Moate lighjt heavyweight will fight in the second leg of the fixture with the Astana Arlans of Kazakhstan.

The six-time major medalist will face a to-be-confirmed opponent on Friday May 25th in the away leg at Atyrau City. The opening fixture takes place in Sheffield on Tuesday May 15th, with five bouts being completed on each night.

24-year-old Ward topped the regular season light heavyweight rankings with three wins – dominant points triumphs over Damir Plantic and Blagoy Naydenov and a sensational stoppage of Bakary Diabira – from three fights.

He is now aiming for a fourth win and outlined how “that’s the plan, four wins. I have three so far and it’s really going well for me. I’m top of the leader board and it’ been a good tournament for me so far.”

Ward believes the Lionhearts will need a solid victory in Sheffield to take to Central Asia and noted how “it will probably have to be 5-0. It’s going to be tough in Kazakhstan as they’re one of the top boxing nations in the world.”

“I’ll be focusing on my own performance and on getting my fourth win of the season.”

The Arlans, who have won the competition on three of the previous six occasions, have a two-man light heavyweight roster and Ward will face either Shaimurat Kussainov or Nurdaulet Zharmanov unless another fighter is added to the team before then.

In the event of a 5-5 draw in the semi-finals, the welterweight division will decide the match in a  tie-break.

The French Fighting Roosters and defending champions – the Cuba Domadores – clash in the corresponding semi-final.

Irish head coach Zaur Antia and high performance coach Dmitry Dimitruk have worked Ward’s corner in the WSB this season along with Lionhearts’ coaching staff and will continue to do so during the play-offs.

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie