Tomorrow may only be his third pro fight, but Steven Ward [2(0)-0] is being progressed up the ladder and the light heavyweight is seeing the improvements.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medalist returns to fight in Belfast at the Waterfront Hall on the big Jamie Conlan-topped BoxNation bill tomorrow night, and is promising a different Steven Ward to the one who debuted in the city just four months ago.
The Oliver Harrison-trained fighter, a gym mate of the likes of Rocky Fielding and Martin Murray, told Irish-Boxing.com that “I am starting to adapt better now. I still have things to change to be honest, but I am in a good place to be changing.”
“Oliver has being doing it step by step and talking about how we are going to change as the rounds go on and the fights get longer.”
“It’s going really well and I am seeing difference in training and sparring so I must be going in the right direction.”
The Newtownabbey family man, who was initially set to fight the night before his wedding before the card was postponed, has fully committed to pro life. Ward regularly relocates to Salford and Harrison’s gym for training. It can be difficult for ‘The Quiet Man,’ but he knows that it is for the best.
Ward explained that “I am used to going away, but I had such a long time were I wasn’t going away, so it was hard. I have a wee boy and a wee girl, but the wee boy is only one so it’s hard to leave him. But these are the sacrifices you have to make and it definitely pays off.”
“Even after my debut. people I know and respected people in boxing, were all telling me it was definitely worth it.”
Ward fights in his first six rounder tomorrow night, making the jump up relatively early. His opponent however, at the time of writing, is still to be confirmed.
This is not a problem to the 26 year old who outlined that “there are a couple of names flying about, but once he has two hands and two legs I’ll be ok. We were due to do a couple more fours and follow the route most take, but I am in good shape and I look after myself all year round so I asked and they agreed.”
“Hopefully people see an exciting fight. I think there will be a lot more power on display last time I was a bit more amateurish. I was still up and down a bit and I won’t lose that, I’ll keep elements of it, but I think I will go through the gears.”
Indeed the quick move to six rounders suggests that Ward is in line to be fast-tracked, something he is happy about. The Ulsterman described how “I want to get moving now. I think there is a good gap at Irish and British level at light heavy and hopefully I can fill it. I don’t have any set time frame.”
“Like Jamie [Conlan] said at the top table as long as I keep winning I’ll be happy and the people around me can look after the rest.”
Tickets are available through the Waterfront Hall (CLICK HERE) or through the boxers themselves (which is the avenue we would recommend).
Jamie Conlan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill for Episode 3 of The Irish Boxing Show:
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)