Three-time European champion, Joe Ward, has decided to resist the temptation offered by the pro ranks and will instead captain the Irish team at the upcoming World Boxing Championships in Hamburg.
The Moate slugger has announced that he will remain in amateur boxing at least until the next Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
It is understood that Ward was not short on offers to enter the pro game, and that Irish Boxing’s new head of high performance, Bernard Dunne, had a big role to play in his decision to remain amateur.
Ward said that Dunne’s ambitious plans for the future, which focus on making Ireland the top country for amateur boxing in the world, was enough to convince him to commit to the Irish team for the next three years.
Still just 23 years of age, Ward will still only be 26 when the Olympics come around, leaving plenty of time for a foray into professional boxing after, if that is what he wishes.
For now the focus is on leading the Irish team, and on providing his fellow amateur boxers with the wealth of experience he has amassed in his short but eventful career to date.