In one of the biggest shocks in modern Irish boxing history, Joe Ward has been defeated in his professional debut tonight in New York.
The amateur legend suffered a freak knee injury which sent him down and out in just the second round of his first paid fight at the famous Madison Square Garden Arena.
Stepping backwards away from game opening foe, light heavyweight Ward appeared to blow out his left knee and it would be ruled a TKO2 loss for the Moate man.
Ward was appearing on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin’s vacant IBF middleweight title clash with Sergiy Derevyanchenko having signed up with Murphys Boxing, Lou DiBella, and Times Square Boxing.
With this well-connected team behind him, it was a Matchroom card to start out for Ward but there would be no dream debut, just a horror nightmare and a painful injury which left Ward requiring assistance to return to the changing rooms.
— Steve Kim (@StevESPNKim) October 5, 2019
While the full prognosis of his injury is currently unknown, many will be casting their minds back to the 2013 European Championships where Ward was eliminated after dislocating his left kneecap versus Mateusz Tryc.
This was a rare loss during a vested career which saw the 25-year-old claim three European titles and three World Championships medals.
Turning pro with high expectations, Ward has been dealt a significant blow and he must now look to build from a 0-1(1) starting point.
Yet while it may appear a disastrous start at first glance, it has to be noted injury rather than any talent deficiency is what cost him a debut win.
The 25 year old recovered from the aforementioned knee injury in 2013 and banked a host more amateur accolades.
The likes of Lou DiBella, Ken Casey and the team at Times Square management certainly have faith in Westmeath fighter and once he recovers will once again relay their excitement with regard to his future.
Speaking before the shocking debut DiBella said, “I think he has everything it takes to be a world champion. I think he could be Ireland’s next big superstar.”
Ken Casey was talking ‘legendary status’ and his management team were predicting he could have a Katie Taylor style impact.