Joe Ward: Rio still haunts me

Joe Ward has admitted the disappointment of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games still haunts.

Light heavyweight Ward, World silver medalist last year was defeated in his first bout of the Rio Olympics after a split decision went against him.

Ward was critically warned twice by the Chinese referee and two points were deducted in the second and third rounds, which effectively cost him the match.

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“It took a long time to get over that disappoint and to this day and honestly it still haunts me” Ward told Shannonside FM.

“It haunts me from my performance most of all, but also the whole system and the way things worked out but I had to move on.”

“I had a great 2017 and now I want to go to Rio and give myself the best opportunity in Tokyo.”

Ward will now team up with the British Lionhearts for the World Series of Boxing having turned down the chance to turn pro.

“There was a lot of pressure being piled on me” explained Ward. “A lot of great offers from all the big promoters, all the big managers all wanted me to turn over, they felt it was the right time for me.”

“Personally I felt it wasn’t the right time, especially with what went on in Rio, that was very disappointing, and I felt like I had a little to give back to people who have coached me and guided me to this stage.”

“I wanted to give myself an opportunity to go to Tokyo and get that medal and get that off my back.”

Listen to the full Interview with Joe Ward by Sunday Sport presenter Dave Hooper