Ward withdraws from clash with Kazakh ‘phenom’ and two-time world silver medalist

Steven Ward will no longer fight undefeated Kazakh ‘phenom’ Kamshybek Kunkabayev for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific cruiserweight title this weekend.

The popular operator was set to face the two-time World Amateur Championship a silver medalist, who secured podium spots at both the 2017 and 2019 Championships, at the Tynyshpayev Academy of Transport and Communications in Almaty this weekend.

Rumour throughout this week had the fight canceled and ‘The Queitman’ was officially confirmed off the card this morning.

Irish-boxing.com understands personal reasons are behind Ward’s withdrawal.

The fight represented a big risk for the Jamie Moore trained fighter but was a chance to make a statement at his new weight.

Former standout amateur, Kunkabayev has been just as dominant since entering the paid ranks, picking up a TKO win over 20-1 opponent Issa Akberbayev in his debut last August, before following that up by becoming the first man to stop Serhiy Radchenko in December.

The Kazakh ‘phenom’ face Server Emurlaiev on Saturday.

The news means further spotlight will be cast on Anthony Cacace’s British title defence which is set for this weekend. A Saturday night, that was meant to play host to three massive Irish interest fights now only has one following the cancelation of Jamel Herring versus Carl Frampton and the Ward news.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com