Joe Ward has his hand raised in victory


Joe Ward will line out for the British Lionhearts in the 2nd leg of their World Series of Boxing (WSB) semi-final with the Astana Arlans in Kazakhstan.

The current European Elite light heavy champion and World Elite finalist meets an opponent to be confirmed on May 25 in Atyrau City.

Both sides go head-to-head in the first leg in Sheffield on May 15.

Ward is enjoying his second term with the Lionhearts and will be targeting his fourth straight victory of 2018 against the former champions in the away leg.

“That’s the plan, four wins. I have three so far and it’s really going well for me. I’m top of the leader board and it’ been a good tournament for me so far,” said the three-time European Elite champion who occupies No.1 position in the 81kg WSB Individual rankings.

The French Fighting Roosters and defending champions,the Cuba Domadores,cross swords over two legs in the corresponding semi-final.

In the event of a 5-5 draw in the semi-finals, the welterweight division will decide the match in a  tie-break.

Joe Ward (blue) in action

Ward believes that they’ll need a solid victory in Sheffield to take to Central Asia.

“It will probably have to be 5-0. It’s going to be tough in Kazakhstan as they’re one of the top boxing nations in the world, he added.

“I’ll be focusing on my own performance and on getting my fourth win of the season.”

Irish head coach Zaur Antia and Irish coach Dmitry Dimitruk have worked Ward’s corner in the WSB this season along with Lionhearts’ coaching staff.

Former Irish Elite champion and European Elite medallist Eric Donovan boxed for the Arlans in the 2012 season.

The St Michael’s Athy BC lightweight helped lead the Kazakh side to the title that year.