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crunch clash ‘I want to put this right’ – Joe Ward eyes revenge in Marco Delgado re-match

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Joe Ward is back in action on Friday morning (1am Irish time). Photo: Ed Mulholland/Sportsfile

Joe Ward is back in action on Friday morning (1am Irish time). Photo: Ed Mulholland/Sportsfile

Joe Ward is back in action on Friday morning (1am Irish time). Photo: Ed Mulholland/Sportsfile

Joe Ward bids to set a boxing record straight on Thursday night in faraway Puerto Rico when he faces his nemesis, Marco Delgado.

The 27-year-old southpaw from Moate, Co Westmeath suffered a devastating technical loss to Delgado on his much-anticipated professional debut in New York’s Madison Square Garden in October 2019.

Ward, three-time European champion as well as a three-time medallist at the World amateur championships, dislocated his left kneecap when he took an awkward step back in the second round.

It was the second time in his career he suffered the injury and there were doubts over whether he would be able to resume his career. But the damage was repaired during surgery.

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Joe Ward goes down with a knee injury during his lightheavy bout with Marc Delgado at Madison Square Garden, New York. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA via Sportsfile

Joe Ward goes down with a knee injury during his lightheavy bout with Marc Delgado at Madison Square Garden, New York. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA via Sportsfile

Joe Ward goes down with a knee injury during his lightheavy bout with Marc Delgado at Madison Square Garden, New York. Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA via Sportsfile

Ward then made an unexpected return to action with two fights in Mexico last December against poor quality opponents.

Now he wants to avenge the loss he suffered to Delgado (29) who has won seven of his eight professional fights.

“I know my level of fighting is higher than his and that will show on Thursday night. It’s just about me turning up," he said.

"I told me team I wanted this re-match because I wanted to put this right. I want to go on to bigger and brighter things soon.

“I feel I am probably a better fighter now than when I made my debut. I got to work on things that were my weaknesses.

"I feel more determined and focused to put on a show and be ruthless. The two guys I fought in Mexico weren’t up to the standard of where I am at, but I got them out as quickly as possible.

“It’s not so much about what I have to prove but it’s getting opportunities to fight in these big events that are very special to me. I just want to show the people why I was such a good amateur and how it transfers to be a professional.”

Ward dispatched both Mexican journeymen in the first round but Thursday night’s fight in the Olympic Centre in Salinas, which is situated on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, may last longer.

But for Ward’s pro career to advance he simply must beat Delgado and will probably do so inside the distance. The light heavyweight contest is due to last six rounds.

The fight will be screened live on the Twitch streaming network beginning at 1am on Friday morning (Irish time).

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