Moate's Joe Ward has to settle for a bronze medal in Almaty
Irish light heavyweight beaten by Cuban world champion Peraza in today’s semi-final
Joe Ward (left) exchanges punches with Julio Peraza of Cuba in their AIBA World Boxing Championships Almaty 2013. Photograph: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
A World champion from Baku 2011, Peraza was almost untouchable for the entire three rounds, which all fell his way on the judges scorecards. Ward, who came into the championships with a hand injury which curtailed his sparring, dismissed that as a factor in the defeat.
The 19-year-old brings back a World championship bronze medal and is now one of only seven Irish boxers to have earned medals at World championship level.
It was a frustrating nine minutes for Ward, who chased the Cuban for almost all of the fight.
Elusive and fast, the Irish light heavyweight simply wasn’t able to land any significant blows to dent his opponent soaring confidence.
The Cuban flicked out his jabs and with his hands low was scoring consistently as Ward tried to close off the ring.
“I just couldn’t get to him. He was very tricky. He’s an exceptional boxer,” said Ward. “His movement and his distance was perfect. I just couldn’t get a range on him at all over the whole three rounds. He wasn’t landing too much.
“Sometimes his jab would catch me in the body. But you know his tactics were perfect and I couldn’t get my range at all because he was so tricky.”