Joe Ward got his 2022 off to a winning start over the weekend.
The West Meath fighter registered career win number 7 in Chicago on Saturday night.
The decorated amateur fighter secured a stoppage win on the Rosemount Rumble card, which was promoted by Hitz Boxing Promotions at The Dome at the Ballpark, Rosemont on April 2.
Ward navigated a slight step up with relative ease as he became only the fifth fighter to stop Oscar Riojas.
The Moate BC graduate was too good and too strong for the Mexican and eventually got him out of there in round 5 of a fight scheduled for eight.
The victory looks set to be the first in what could be an important year for Ward. Promoter Lou DiBella previously revealed plans where in place to make the southpaw a light heavyweight contender before the year is done.
“As former Irish Olympians go, Joe Ward is one of the best and undoubtedly one of the must-watch prospects in the light-heavyweight division,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. Since the devastating injury on his pro debut, Joe’s comeback has been extraordinary and he’s at full strength. 2022 will be a year of growth where he can establish his credentials as a championship contender and with Probellum’s help, I expect Joe to fight more often on the world stage.”
The win sees Ward improve to 7-1 with four knockouts while Riojas record now reads 28-14-1.