Steven Ward targeting titles following learning first year

Steven Ward is closing in on his first year as a professional, and believes that his second year will see him move into the title mix.

The Newtownabbey light heavyweight fights for fifth time in ten months this Saturday, featuring on the Ginley Promotions ‘Danger at The Devenish’ card in Belfast.

Already up to six rounds, Ward is developing quickly and feels that, with a bit more experience, he can start contending for domestic titles.

Looking back on his first year or so since announcing his pro move last August, ‘The Quiet Man’ told Irish-Boxing.com that “I feel I’ve learnt a lot – but, like everything, there is always more to learn, it never seems so stop.”

“What I am doing is really enjoying the sport, more than I have in years which is driving me on.”

With trainer Oliver Harrison currently suffering from illness, Ward is being coached remotely and spent some time out in MTK headquarters for the first time during this camp.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medalist described how “I went out to MTK Marbella with a couple of the lads, Tyrone [McKenna], and Jamie [Conlan] were out there, it was great to have company, but it was mainly to get fit, the facilities out there are amazing.”

“Oliver has had a few health issues at the minute, when he is back we will be in the gym together, but we still talk, he is always involved!”

The Irish title was won by Paddy McDonagh in June when he outpointed Stevie Collins – who has now been authorised to box in an eliminator with David Bailey.

Ward believes he is close and noted that “honestly, I feel I am up there to really push on next year. Possibly the only this I lack is the experience in rounds, I’m still very young in the rounds.”

The 27 year old was set to get some good rounds on Saturday night against former Central Area champ Carl Wild, but has been hit by a change of opponent, with a new name to be confirmed shortly.

Ward, who was one of a number of fighters affected by the Carl Frampton homecoming cancellation, has taken this in his stride.

He admits that “it’s a pity, he’s been about and been in with and done the distance with a lot of lads, [Hosea] Burton being one of them – but I am just excited to get out again my management have kept me busy last year, yes a few fights fell through but the got me straight up and running again.”

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

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie