Joe Ward has ‘really clicked’ with new trainer and has ‘no worries’ about his knee

He has yet to official fight under him, but Joe Ward has praised the influence of new coach Joey Gamache.

Buddy McGrit manned the 26-year-old’s corner for his debut fight, which ended early due to a disastrous knee injury, but employed Gamache ahead of a proposed March return.

The former world champion now looks set to take the reigns of the Ken Casey and Lou DiBella promoted light heavyweight moving forward.

As a fighter Gamache became the first world champion from Maine and world titles at both super featherweight and lightweight.

After hanging up his gloves the now 53-year-old became assistant to Emanuel Steward and was present at the Kronk Gym during Andy Lee’s time there.

Most recently the American cornered Otto Wallin as he challenged Tyson Fury last year.

Gamache took the coaching reigns as Ward prepared for his March 14 return – before it was cancelled – and the Moate BC graduate is more than content with the link up.

“Teaming up with Joey Gamache was a great move for me,” Ward told the Westmeath Examiner.

“Joey is based in New York and we were able to see each other and work together every day. We were able to work on different things that helped improve certain aspects of my boxing,” he said.

“Joey was a world champion himself as a fighter and he would have trained under the great Emanuel Steward, who was one of the greatest coaches ever in boxing.

“He has a good personality, a good mindset about boxing, and I get on really well with him. Our personalities really clicked. I like the way he sets out the training – he has it all worked out three or four days in advance, so you know what you’re doing, and what you’re going to be working on, which is very important.”

Ward’s debut defeat came after his knee dislocated in the second round of a fight with Marco Delgado.

The worrying thing is something similar happened in the 2013 European Championships where Ward was eliminated after dislocating his left kneecap versus Mateusz Tryc.

However, the Westmeath favourite is adamant he has made a full recovery and has no concerns with regard to a repeat.

“We did a lot of sparring, a lot of running, and thankfully we didn’t have any issues (with the knee). There was no soreness there,” he said.

“Obviously the muscle will take some time to build up, but there was no problem. I was working hard every day and was never worried about the knee.

“To be honest, I couldn’t have asked for a better training camp. Everything was really clicking, and I was just sad that I couldn’t show that in the ring,” he said.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com