Joe Ward – “the referee gave me two public warnings for no real reason”

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Ireland suffered another shock loss at the Olympic Games last night with light heavyweight Joe Ward being eliminated in his first bout by Ecuadorian Carlos Mina.

The Moate BC man fell to a split decision defeat, coloured by two points deductions for holding.

Immediately afterwards 22 year old Ward spoke to RTÉ and admitted that he was “very disappointed.”

“I thought I boxed reasonably well, I thought I did enough to win the fight.”

The points deductions in rounds two and three proved to have a major bearing on the bout – in which Ward won 7 out of 9 rounds across the three judges – and the Irishman felt that “the referee gave me two public warnings for no real reason, he [Mina] was doing a lot more holding and hitting with the head and elbowing.”

“He was doing a lot of holding as well, he was the one coming in holding, I was trying to box him at long range.”

“I’m disappointed with the result, but what can I do?”

Ward did concede that that the rough and ready South American did disrupt his performance and noted that “it was always the gameplan [to box] going in there, and it was working, but he was messing it up because he was in there and was really rugged and dragging and pulling.”

“But what can you do or say? That’s boxing.”

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: