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'If you're an Irish athlete in New York you're gonna get support' | DiBella on Ward going pro

Kenneth Fox
Kenneth Fox

04:41 7 Aug 2019


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Speaking on Off The Brawl, promoter Lou Dibella said Joe Ward will get massive support from the Irish-American community when he fights in New York. 

Ward signed his first professional contract with DiBella Entertainment yesterday and he will train under legendary coach Buddy McGirt.

DiBella has a track record of promoting Irish fighters such as Andy Lee, and he's had his eye on Ward for a while.

“I have a long history of promoting Irish fighters and Irish-American fighters and the overwhelming majority of the guys are good people.

“I’ve known about [Ward] him for a while and he’s been the premier Irish amateur for years and his style is a pro-style.

"He has all of the outside the ring things you need to be great and he’s a tremendous prospect," Dibella said.

The fact that he's an Irish fighter means he will automatically be a fan favourite in the Big Apple.

"New York has a tremendously loud, active and supportive Irish community.

"If you're an Irish athlete in New York you're gonna get support and love, particularly if you're the kind of person that is gonna reach out to that community.

"He can't walk into a pub in New York without somebody recognising him. That's gonna be more and more the case as he builds his career," the native New Yorker said.

Back to back fights 

With the contract signed Ward's attention will now turn to his first professional fight. DiBella said he won't have to wait too long for it.

"I see the debut coming in October we will make an announcement probably in the next week or two on the exact date."

"I can see maybe October and November his first two fights back to back," he said.

The reason DiBella thinks so highly of Ward is that his style translates well to the professionals.

"His mental game is very, very strong and his fundamentals are very strong and he can punch!"

"He's knocked down guys in the amateurs he has the power, but you don't get rewarded for that in the amateurs," the promoter said.

Ward was in studio himself and he said he's excited to start a new chapter in his career.

"Going away that's where I am going to improve and going to America will definitely bring the best out of me.

"We're not in a rush, we're here to build nicely and get the conditioning and get to the right level over time," Ward said.

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