Ward expects 'toughest test yet' in New York on Saturday
Moate's Joe Ward will be lacing up the gloves in New York City this Saturday (December 10) for what he expects will be his toughest test since making the switch to professional boxing in 2019.
The 29-year-old light heavyweight is facing Frederic Julan, a 34-year-old New York-based Frenchman who has a record of 12 wins and just one defeat (10 KOs).
Ward has been training in the US for the last four weeks ahead of this weekend’s bout in Madison Square Garden.
His fight is on the undercard of an event headlined by the junior welterweight meeting of American Teofimo Lopez and Spain’s Sandor Martin.
Ward versus Julan is due to get underway at approximately 11pm Irish time on Saturday, and the bout is being shown in the US on the ESPN+ streaming service.
Speaking to the Westmeath Independent this week, the local man was happy with how his preparation for the fight had gone.
"Training has been going really well over the last number of weeks," he said.
"This is going to be a tough fight, my toughest test to date as a professional fighter, but I am really looking forward to it. I believe I'm a better fighter than (Julan), so now it’s all about performing on Saturday.
"The most important thing is getting the win and then moving on to have a big year in 2023," added the Westmeath man.
This is only Ward's second fight this year, after he recorded a stoppage win against Mexican Oscar Riojas in the Chicago area at the beginning of April.
Prior to that he had faced Britton Norwood in Madison Square Garden almost exactly a year ago – on December 11, 2021 – recording an impressive first-round stoppage win.
Ward had been scheduled to fight Julan in New York in August, on the undercard of a fight night headed by social media celebrity Jake Paul, but all of the bouts on that bill had to be cancelled when the main event fell through.
Julan does appear to represent a step up from Ward’s previous opponents as a professional, and if the eight-round contest goes the distance it will be his longest fight to date.
However, the Moate man’s innate boxing skill, honed through years of experience as an amateur at the highest level, should be enough to earn him the victory and set him on course for what he hopes will be a busy twelve months ahead.