Irish amateur boxing star Joe Ward will make his highly anticipated pro debut on Saturday, October 5, at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, as part of the undercard to the Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin-Sergiy Derevyanchenko middleweight championship contest.
Ward, who is co-promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Ken Casey’s Murphys Boxing, and managed by Times Square Boxing Co., will take on Marco Delgado (5-1, 4 KOs), of Modesto, CA, in a six-round light heavyweight clash.
The 25-year-old Ward, a native of Westmeath, Ireland, is trained by Hall-of-Famer James “Buddy” McGirt and Irishman Jimmy Payne.
A member of Ireland’s 2016 Olympic team, Ward is joined by undisputed world champion Katie Taylor as the only Irish boxers to win more than one European Elite gold medal.
His acclaimed amateur career includes 15 Irish National Championships, three gold medals at the European Amateur Championships (2017, 2015, 2011), a gold medal at the World Youth Championships (2010), and a gold medal at the World Junior Championships (2009).
Ward also earned the silver medal at the 2017 World Amateur Championships in Hamburg, Germany. Competing for the British Lionhearts in the World Series of Boxing, Ward compiled a record of 8-1 with a 2018 ranking ahead of Cuba’s two-time Olympic champion Julio La Cruz. Having his first fight at 11 years old, Ward ended his amateur career with a record of 290-15.
“I’m really looking forward to making my pro debut at Madison Square Garden, which is a great venue to introduce myself to the boxing world as I enter the professional ranks,” said Ward.
“It’s going to be a special night that I will never forget. I’d like to thank my team, DiBella Entertainment, Murphys Boxing and Times Square Boxing Co., for the opportunity and I am excited to put on a great performance.”
“Ken Casey and I are both thrilled that super prospect Joe Ward is debuting on the GGG-Derevyanchenko card,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “We expect to see a lot of support from New York’s Irish community and believe it’ll be one of many New York City fights for Joe as he begins his rise up the ranks of boxing’s elite.”
“Joe is a world-class prospect and a future star, and we are incredibly excited that he can begin his journey as a professional at such a historic and venerated venue,” said Adam Glenn, CEO of Times Square Boxing Co. “This is an amazing way to start what we know will be a tremendous boxing career.”
“Fighters spend their whole lives dreaming of fighting at Madison Square Garden,” stated Joe Winters, Chairman of Times Square Boxing Co. “Joe Ward’s hard work, dedication and accomplishments allow him to start his career there. We believe that this is going to be the first of many special nights for Joe.”
“I would like to thank my team at KO Night Boxing for working to get this opportunity against Joe Ward,” said Delgado. “I’ve been waiting for this call my whole life. I’m here to do my job and that’s to make the judges’ job easy.”
“I am truly excited for the world to get a look at Marco Delgado,” said John Anderson, of KO Night Boxing. “I think Lou DiBella will be in for a big surprise. I have all the respect in the world for Lou, but in this fight, I feel Marco is way too rugged for Joe Ward and it will show as the fight progresses.”