Joe Ward makes his ring entrance last night


Joe Ward weighed-in for the last time in Hamburg, Germany this morning.


The Moate BC southpaw meets Cuba’s Julio La Cruz tonight for AIBA World Elite light-heavy gold at the Sporthalle in the German city.




Boxing begins at 5pm (Irish time) and Ward and La Cruz will be in action in the 8th fight on the program.


Both men have won three fights each since last Monday to set up today’s 81kg clash.



Cuba have seven boxers through to today’s finals, with four direct head-to-heads with Uzbekistan slated for decision.


Today marks the third successive occasion in four years that an Irish boxer has weighed-in for an AIBA World Elite final (male).


In 2013, Jason Quigley reached the middleweight decider in Kazakhstan and won silver.Two years later, Michael Conlan and Ward made the bantam and light-heavy finals in Qatar, with Conlan creating history becoming the first Irish make boxer to win gold at this level.


Ward, the Irish captain in Hamburg, lost out on the Persian Gulf to La Cruz and took home silver in 2015.


Ireland’s five-strong squad are due home at 1.55pm tomorrow afternoon via Dublin Airport via Hamburg (Terminal 1, Flight, Ryanair FR8512)


World Elite Championships Hamburg, Germany

August 25th

(Last 32)

56kg Kurt Walker (Ireland) lost to Leonel De Los Santos (Dominican Republic) 1-4

64kg Sean McComb (Ireland) beat Joedison De Jesus (Brazil) 4-1

August 26th

(Last 32)

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) beat Hyeon Do Kim (Korea) 5-0

August 27th

(Last 16)

64kg Sean McComb (Ireland) lost to Andy Cruz-Gomez (Cuba) 0-5

August 28th

(Last 16)

52kg Brendan Irvine (Ireland) lost to Inkyu Kim (Korea) 0-5

81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Iago Kizira (Georgia) 5-0

91kg+ Dean Gardiner (Ireland) lost to Cristian Salcedo (Columbia) 2-3

August 29th


81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Mikhail Dauhaliavets (Belarus) 5-0

September 1st


81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) beat Bektimer Melikuziev (Uzbekistan) 3-2
81kg Julio de la Cruz (Cuba) beat Carlos Mina (Ecuador) 5-0

September 2nd


81kg Joe Ward (Ireland) v Julio La Cruz (Cuba)


Irish squad

52kg Brendan Irvine  (St Paul’s)
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal)
64kg Sean McComb (Holy Trinity)
81kg Joe Ward (Moate) cpt (Silver, at least)
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel)

Team manager/High-Performance Director: Bernard Dunne
Coaches: Zaur Antia, John Conlan and Dmitry Dimitruc
Doctor: Jim Clover
Physio: Seamus Caffrey
Performance Analysis: Alan Swanton