Light Heavy Ward Joseph
25 years
AIBA Class

Stance: Southpaw

Career highlight: Gold medalist – European Boxing Championships Ankara 2011

Irishman Joe Ward’s ascent to the highest level of world boxing has been as fluent and smooth as his fighting style in the ring.

The strapping young southpaw, a pure boxer who has outstanding fleeting footwork and movement, has fought in three different weight classes in three years – all before the age of 18. Where some may have struggled to adjust to such radical changes in the formative stages of their boxing career, Ward has commendably produced results time and again at the top level.

The man from County Westmeath won his first major honors fighting as a light middleweight in the 2009 Junior World Boxing Championships in Yerevan, Armenia. He claimed the gold medal in dramatic style by sensationally knocking out home favourite, Hayk Khachatryan, in the final.

One year later, this time at middleweight, Ward won the Youth World Boxing Championships in Baku. The victory meant he had captured his second youth world title in as many years.

Then, just one year after becoming a two-time world champion at junior level, Joe’s graceful graduation to the senior tier of boxing proved just as fruitful. Campaigning as a light-heavyweight, where he has remained ever since, he won the gold medal at the 2011 European Boxing Championships in Ankara, securing an unprecedented three gold medals in as many years.

A bronze in the AIBA World Boxing Championships last year in Almaty was a stunning testament to the drive, versatility and adaptability, capping an extraordinary rise through the boxing ranks and marking a stunning breakthrough of one of the brightest young talents in the sport.

Classy, powerful and possessing that unmistakably raw Irish will to win, Ward will be as hungry as ever to shine in AIBA Pro Boxing as he looks to dazzle his way to qualification for Rio 2016.