AmateurHeadline News

Joe Ward returns to Senior Championships as Tokyo Olympic cycle begins

Tomorrow night in Dublin, Joe Ward begins his quest for a fifth Irish title in what will be his first Senior Championships campaign in three years.

The Moate light heavyweight meets experienced Dubliner Michael Frayne, who defeated Robert Burke in the quarters, at the National Stadium in what will be his first fight since losing to Carlos Mina at the Rio Olympics.

The two-time European gold medalist, still only 23, is eager to get back to winning ways, especially at the Seniors, and he described how “It seems a long time ago since I last won my senior title in 2014, I should be going for my seventh but due to APB I couldn’t enter the last two years.”

Ward and David Oliver Joyce signed contracts with the APB in search of Olympic qualification, which would temporarily prevent both from entering the National Championships. Neither would achieve Rio qualification through this route, but both would qualify via other tournaments.

Ward had been rumoured to be turning professional following his Olympic elimination, but will remain in the amateur ranks, for the time being, as we enter into the Tokyo Olympic cycle.

It’s a first fight at the famous South Circular Road venue since his 2014 Senior final win over Matthew Tinker – having missed weight for his international fight with Englishman George Crotty in December.

The double World Championships medalist, who is also the only boxer to ever win World, Junior, and Elite medals as a teenager, is looking forward to a return to the Dublin venue which was the first purpose built boxing venue in the world.

“The National Stadium is where it all began for me and it’s a special place,” he explained. “It’s the venue that shaped me.”

Ward v Frayne is one of fourteen semi finals up for decision tomorrow night at the home of Irish boxing, with further semi finals on Saturday before next Friday’s finals.

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: