COMMONWEALTHS: Ward ‘gutted’ after defeat

Monkstown fighter Steven Ward. Photo: Presseye
Monkstown fighter Steven Ward. Photo: Presseye
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Monkstown fighter Steven Ward was perhaps the local area’s greatest hope of reaching the podium in Glasgow.

But the heavyweight, who trains at the Cashel Drive club, had won silver in Delhi four years ago, exited the competition early this time around.

Ward lost his opening fight on Sunday to England’s Warren Baister who won a split-decision.

He got off to a good start winning the opening round 10-9 on all three cards but was hit with a big left in round two which went to his opponent. The Englishman took the final round unanimously.

“I’m just gutted. It was a tough fight and I felt it could have gone either way but I’ve no-one to blame but myself. It wasn’t the coaches’ fault and it wasn’t to do with my training - it was the last two rounds,” said Ward.

He added: “I would have changed a lot, I would have been busier and a couple of times I was trying to fight when I didn’t really have to. I felt I won the first round clean by a mile but I didn’t stick to the plan for the next two rounds and I’ll learn to listen to my coaches more. I wasn’t here just to make up the numbers; I wanted to win a medal. I put in so much hard work and it’s just gutting.”

Ward said he was “disappointed” he drew Baister, the highest-ranked boxer in the tournament, in the first round. “This is the first year there’s been no seeding and he was No.1 in the rankings and I’m No.2 so this should have been a fight for the final, not the first round. It’s the fight everyone wanted to see in the final.”