Former amateur star Joe Ward set for October debut in America after signing professional contract
Two-time world amateur silver medallist Joe Ward will make his professional boxing debut in October in either New York or Boston.
The 25-year-old Moate star formally signed his pro contact at a press conference in Dublin, at which it was announced that he would be co-promoted by Lou DiBella and Boston-based musician Ken Casey, who has built up a burgeoning boxing business in recent years.
It was confirmed that Ward will box as a light heavyweight as he did in the amateur ranks, and his first fight in the paid ranks will be over six rounds.
"Joe Ward is a potential superstar, an Irish boxing hero and a great young man," said DiBella who suggested that the three-time European champion would be a world title contender within three years.
It was also announced that world famous trainer Buddy McGirt will train Ward alongside Irish coach Jimmy Payne. Ward will divide his time between Ireland and the US, but his American training camp will be in New York where his managers Joe Winters and Adam Glenn are based.
Glenn, along his his famous boxing father Jimmy, is the owner of the well-known boxing bar Jimmy Corner's, located in Times Square.
The timing of Ward's move to the professional ranks raised eyebrows, coming exactly 12 months before the Tokyo Olympics, but Ward said he felt it was the right time to turn pro.
"There are no guarantees (in the Olympics). And opportunities like this don't come around and I now have the right team around me."
Meanwhile, the flamboyant DiBella confirmed that seven-weight world champion Amanda Serrano will fight Heather Hardy, who is best known for her exploits as a UFC fighter, next month in New York. The winner is virtually assured of a fight against Katie Taylor early next year.