Wonderful Ward dominates in opening fight at World Championships


Joe Ward made sure there was a good end to the day for Ireland at the World Championships in Hamburg.

The Moate light heavyweight found himself as the only remaining boxer, before he even stepped into the ring for his first fight, as Dean Gardiner and Brendan Irvine both found themselves eliminated in Germany.

There would be no hat-trick of losses though as Team Captain Ward dominated Iago Kiziria of Georgia to reach the quarter finals.

The Irish boxer, seeded #3, had received a bye to the Last 16, while his Georgian opponent had defeated Scot Sean Lazzini, who was also beaten by Ward in the European Championships, in the Round of 32.

Reigning European champion Ward began circling, flicking out shots, before starting to sit down on his shots int he final minute, landing a number a thudding uppercuts.

Kiziria upped the aggression in the second, with southpaw Ward playing matador. A big overhand right from the Eastern European fighter at the halfway stage seemingly snapped Ward into action, and the Westmeath man began to fire off combinations, as if to punish Kiziria for having had the temerity to hit him.

Following a lot of effort from Kiziria in the opening minute of the final round, Ward would land a volley of shots that stunned the Georgian and proceeded to give an exhibition of shot selection for the remainder of the fight.

Going to the cards there was absolutely no doubt, and Ward was awarded the win on all five cards, with the judges’ scorelines reading 30-27 on four cards and 30-24 on the other.

Ward will now look to win a record third World Championships medal tomorrow when he fights tomorrow to guarantee at least a bronze to add to his 2013 bronze and 2015 silver.

gym trition

frayne carpentry

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