Rejuvenated Joe Ward ready to step things up in ‘big’ 2021

Joe Ward [2(1)-1(1)] is hoping a big 2021 will tee him nicely for a massive 2022.

The West Meath fighter put his freak debut defeat behind him, registering two quickfire, relatively under the radar wins in Mexico in December.

Those victories allow him to move into 2021 in a positive frame of mind and a better position to progress – and that’s exactly what he plans to do.

One of Ireland’s greatest ever amateur fighters has his sights set on a big year in every sense of the word.

The Ken Casey and Lou DiBella promoted Moate BC graduate wants plenty of fights and wants big step-ups.

“I’m looking forward to a big 2021, with a lot of fights and big step-ups as the year goes on. I’m just looking forward to being busy, learning, and being in a great position for 2022,” he told the Westmeath Examiner.

Ward fought out of the blue in Mexico in December, registering two knockout wins.

There seemed a deliberate effort to get the fights in away from the spotlight and information was hard to come by.

Speaking about his Mexican adventures Ward said: “It was just about getting back into the ring, getting moving, and getting back into that zone again.

“I was pretty ruthless over there, but that’s down to hunger and determination. The level I’m at is a million miles away from the level (of opponent) I was fighting, but you can only beat who’s in front of you.

“As an amateur, my level was at the top. You don’t get to the top overnight in the professional game, it takes time, but you just have to be ruthless in everything you do until you get the opportunity to be at the top.”

A turbulent start to pro life was quickly followed by the pandemic meaning Ward was just delighted to get out in December.

The enforced break has reaffirmed just how much he loves the game.

“With the lead-up to it, and the training, everything was just very positive and I realised how much I had missed it.

“Sometimes you can take things for granted but when you’re out of boxing for a little while, when you can’t compete, or when certain things can’t happen, you realise how much you love it.

“You realise how much you miss being in there, having that adrenaline rush, getting ready and competing. It’s the best feeling in the world.”

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