• Home
  • /
  • Boxing
  • /
  • 'Whatever The Outcome At Rio, I'll Appreciate It' - Ward Honoured To Represent His Country

'Whatever The Outcome At Rio, I'll Appreciate It' - Ward Honoured To Represent His Country

'Whatever The Outcome At Rio, I'll Appreciate It' - Ward Honoured To Represent His Country
By Gavan Casey
Share this article

There were times when the Olympic dream looked like it wouldn't quite come to fruition for Joe Ward, despite his prodigious talent and auspicious burst onto the Irish Seniors circuit in 2011.

One of the nation's great medal hopes ahead of London 2012, the Moate light-heavy was pilfered by a hometown fighter in Turkey’s Bahran Muzzafer during a last-ditch attempt to reach the Games he seemed destined to dominate following domestic and international success.

Then 18, Ward dropped a hotly contested 18-15 decision and following a failed appeal, didn't qualify for the tournament across the Irish Sea where compatriots Katie Taylor, Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan and fellow Westmeath talent John Joe Nevin all medalled for their country.

A bizarrely sluggish defeat to France's Mathieu Bauderlique three years later at the APB once more put his Olympic chances on ice (incidentally, for all the supposed controversies surrounding pro fighters qualifying for Rio, Bauderlique was a 9-0 pro when he beat Ward), but the 22-year-old's World championships semi-final victory over Elshod Rasulov of Uzbekistan the following October saw him finally bury the hatchet and achieve the childhood dream of qualifying for an Olympic Games.


And while his silver medal at the Worlds brings with it the typical expectation of Ireland's sporting public and wider boxing circles, you certainly wouldn't know it judging by Ward's final interview before departing for Brazil.

Speaking to the IABA, Ward's uber-calm persona - the antithesis, on occasion, of his bullish in-ring style - shone through ahead of a Rio Games in which the rest of the country expects him to reach the latter stages of the 81kg competition:

Me personally, I'm just going to go there and give myself the best opportunity. I'll take every fight as it comes, and whatever the outcome is at the end of it I'll appreciate it.

It's a huge thing for me and probably for my family, and also for my country, for me to represent Ireland in the Olympic Games. I'm really honoured to be part of an Irish team.

[I] don't worry about it too much. I'll just let it happen.

Ward was also asked which boxer, past or present, he'd like to share the ring with. His answer was perhaps expected - a certain former light-heavyweight Olympian who grabbed gold at Rome 1960. The world no.3, however, isn't certain if he would have enjoyed trading blows with Muhammad Ali, saying:


"I don't know if I'd like to get in there and take a few slaps off him." You can watch the full interview with Ward below:


Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Share this article

Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com