Joe Ward


Joe Ward will line out for the British Lionhearts versus the Croatian Knights in Newcastle on Friday night in the World Series of Boxing (WSB).

The current European Elite light-heavy champion and World Elite finalist meets Damir Plantic in Gateshead over five, three-minute rounds.

The Irish captain and Moate BC southpaw is looking forward to the Tyne and Wear five-rounder.

“I’ve  boxed in the WSB before, so it’s something that I’m used too and I’ve always enjoyed the five round format of the WSB,” said the Rio Olympian who won five of his six fights for the Lionhearts in the 2013 season.

The Lionhearts lost their first match to the France Fighting Roosters earlier this month, Les Bleus winning 3-2 in Paris, and are lying in 3rd spot in the four-team European Group.

Belfast lightweight Sean Duffy, who was beaten by Francis Cleary at the Elite Championships last weekend, has also signed with the British unit.

The Holy Trinity man is expected to box against Italia Thunder in Liverpool in early March.

“It’s five rounds too which will suit my style because I always come on stronger in the last couple of rounds. It’s usually only the third round I start coming into my rhythm anyway,” he said.

Of the eight Irish boxers that qualified for the Rio Olympics, which was effectively seven (Katie Taylor also qualified) given that there is no WSB for women, three – 42% – qualified through the WSB, courtesy of Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes and Stephen Donnelly.

Conlan also qualified again for Rio 2016 after winning gold at the 2015 World Elite Championships in Doha after first securing his place at the 2016 Olympiad through the WSB.