Fighting in his first eight-rounder, the Newtownabbey light heavyweight won the BUI Celtic title with an eight-round 79-75 points win over Dubliner Stevie Collins Jr at Windsor Park in Belfast.
A cagey contest, with Collins looking to counter-punch, the activity and consistency of Ward won out as he claimed his maiden professional belt and left the football stadium confident that he can compete at title level.
“It took me a few rounds to adjust but I finally got him to come forward and, from then on, I felt like I was in control,” he noted afterwards.
Analysing his performance, the 28-year-old admits it wasn’t perfect but was still delighted to take the title in his first real competitive fight.
Ward told IFL TV that “I feel good, I feel great, I’m happy enough with the performance, there were things I could have done better but, look, I got the win and I’m over the moon with it.”
“It took me a few rounds to get into it. I didn’t really feel like I was in trouble at any time just I could have made things a lot easier. ”
Especially impressed with his own performance in the later rounds, Ward feels he has shown that he is able to fight for and win domestic titles.
‘The Quiet Man’ reasoned that “[in the] second half of the fight I found my feet and I feel that I just cruised the second half, I feel I could have done twelve rounds of that.”
“I need to kick on from that now, start moving like that from the first round.”
“The only thing I lack is the rounds but that [fight] has put a lot of demons to bed, I did eight rounds and I felt the way I boxed in the second half of the fight, I could have done that for 12.”
Ward will now return on the Belfast BoxNation bill at the Titanic Exhibition Centre on Friday October 5th.
Keen to push on, Ward outlined how “I got the win, happy enough, I’ll move on.”
“I’ll go on holiday for a week and then back in the gym, I don’t want to hang about.”
Watch Steven Ward’s interview with IFL TV in full below: