TEAM NI: Boxer Steven Ward is on a mission

Steven Ward
Steven Ward

Steven Ward will look to leave the disappointment of losing in the Irish Senior final this year behind him in Glasgow. .

Ward had gone to the Irish Senior Final believing this was his time after rival Tommy McCarthy had decided to join the professional ranks.

Monkstown boxer Ward was supposed to lift the title in the era after McCarthy - but he went down to a controversial points loss to Gary Sweeney at the National Stadium.

Ward was downed by Sweeney in the first round of the bout - but most at ringside that night believed after that initial shock - Ward bossed the fight and should have had his hand raised at the final bell.

But the boxing gods were not smiling on Ward that night as Sweeney was crowned king of the heavyweight division.

Ward says the hurt and disappointment of that defeat has taken time to get rid of.

“It is water under the bridge and it was a good senior final, but I thought I had done enough to win that fight.

“I was down in the first, but after that I stuck to my boxing and I thought I had won the title. I was gutted after losing the final. It was not easy to accept.

“But we have moved on to bigger and better things.I am looking to redeem myself at the Games and I will be doing everything I can to progress through the competition and see where I end up.

“I am taking it one fight at a time - but we are all aiming to go as far as we can,” he added.

Murphy welcomes chance to compete

Ward won silver at the Delhi Games four years ago and he would like to get his hands on gold this time around.

“Yes I would love to go one better and win gold - but every fighter at the Games wants gold. The main thing I am focused on is my performance.

“I will be taking it one fight at a time and I will see how that goes and then move onto the next one.

“There is no-one in the draw I am really thinking about and I will see what way the draw goes and then take it one fight at a time.”

The Northerm Ireland team have been in a boxing camp in the run-up to the Games and Ward says they are seeing the benefit.

“The camp has been brilliant in the build-up to the Games. Australia and some of the other teams have come here and that helps with our preparation.

“It is great that this camp is right on our doorstep and it means we do-not have to travel too far from home.

“It means the boys are ready to rock and roll as our preparation could not have gone any better. We still have a bit of sparring to do, but everyone is bouncing off one another and things are going well.

Ward likes the fact that the Games are so close to home.

“It is good for family and friends that the Games are so close to home - but the ring could be in America because a ring is a ring.

“It means more people from home can get to the Games to cheer us on and that is a good thing,” he added.