Steven Ward expects Mexican opponent to provide fireworks following ‘boring’ title win


Steven Ward [8(3)-0] is expecting the toughest test of his career this Friday night when he takes on Rolando Paredes at the Titanic Exhibition Centre.

Less than two months ago, Ward won his maiden title when he outpointed Dubliner Stevie Collins Jr to win the BUI Celtic light heavyweight title at Windsor Park in Belfast.

That night saw Collins try to counter-punch but the busier Ulsterman took a competitive 79-75 win.

Ward was disappointed with the fight at the football stadium, which played out on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s clash with Luke Jackson, and noted afterwards that it “was not the best fight to watch” and joking that “I lived up to my [nick]name ‘Boring Ward’.”

The approach of Collins surprised Ward and the Newtownabbey man feels that Paredes [15(11)-7(3)-2] will provide the sort of action fight that he wanted when they lock horns on the BoxNation-broadcast bill.

While the Mexican is stepping up in weight, Ward is adamant that he will provide a big challenge in what will be the Commonwealth silver medallist’s first ten-round fight.

‘The Quiet Man’ argued that “this is a step up. He’s stopped 11 out of his 15 wins and you don’t get many easy Mexicans.”

“I expect him to bring the best out of me.”

“We prepared for a come-forward fighter last time out and although we didn’t get that when we stepped in the ring, it’s a case of more of the same in preparation.”

Ward, who is a stablemate of Carl Frampton under Jamie Moore at the VIP Gym in Manchester, is one of the most active fighters on the island.

Friday will be his ninth contest in under two years and the popular 28-year-old said that “I’m excited to get back in there.”

“Boxing in Belfast is just massive at the moment. I fell on my feet with the timing of turning professional and I’m lucky to be a part of it.

dpg

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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