July 22, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Irish boxer Donal Ward will have to wait a little while longer before he steps inside the ring as a pro.
The Roscommon man was scheduled to make his professional boxing debut in New Hampshire on July 30 but the clash has now been canceled, Ward told The Long Hall Podcast website.
Ward was set to trade leather with Mike Taylor at the Great American Boxing Bash but was told by the promoter Monday that the middleweight contest had fallen through. Ward said the bout was off “for different reasons.”
The 32-year-old said he has set his sights on securing another fight towards the end of August. He is taking some time off and will then return to training for the potential bout.
“I’m looking forward to getting started as soon as possible,” Ward said.
Ward said he is hoping his first professional fight can now be held closer to New York City where he is based and works as a fitness trainer. A strong Irish contingent was expected to travel to the Castleton Conference Centre to support Ward next week but a fight closer to the five boroughs would draw an even larger crowd.
The Loughglynn native has boxed since he was eight but only made the sport his primary target over the last number of years following a successful career playing Gaelic football. Ward has played at senior intercounty level for Roscommon and New York while he is a member of the Kerry New York club.
In boxing, Ward has won underage national titles all the way through the ranks, reaching a senior elite semi-final in 2014, according to Irish-Boxing.com.
Before immigrating to New York, Ward worked as a prison officer at Cloverhill prison and represented the Irish Prison Service in the ring. He won light-heavyweight gold at the 2013 World Police and Fire Games in Belfast.
In 2019 he became the first Irishman in more than 20 years to reach the finals of the New York Golden Gloves – one of America’s top amateur boxing competitions.
Ward boxes with New York Athletic Club along with former St Francis amateur Matt Tinker who has strong Irish connections. Tinker was initially expected to be on the same card as Ward on July 30 but will instead fight on Aug. 3 inside the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
Ward said he has enlisted James Moore, a former Irish professional fighter, as a coach and advisor. Moore is a three-time elite welterweight champion and a world championships bronze medallist. Moore currently operates a popular bar in Sunnyside, Queens, called Maggie Mae’s.
“I watched James winning senior titles growing up and my father would have gone on international trips with him when he was amateur. He was a top amateur in Ireland,” Ward said.
We hope to have Donal Ward on The Long Hall Podcast before his next fight.
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