Joe Ward has admited it wasn’t an easy decision to turn professional rather than pursue a medal at next year’s Olympics.
The Westmeath southpaw, who twice won world silver medals and three European golds as an amateur, has signed for New York based Times Square Boxing.
Ward says he felt the time was right to join the professional ranks and he hopes to become world champion.
“My decision to turn professional was not easy,” Moate man Ward said in a statement reported by the Irish Times. “I will miss my team, however, I felt the time was right for me and my family.
“I loved fighting for Ireland and had a very rewarding amateur career. I was happy that I could bring success and medals to my country, and that in the past few years I could help mentor some of my younger teammates.
“I’m excited to represent my country in the professional ranks and bring a world championship home to Ireland.
“I believe it is important to surround yourself with the right people and I found great partners in Joe Winters and Adam Glenn at Times Square Boxing, who understand the sport and business of boxing.
“I’m confident Times Square Boxing will help me achieve my professional goals to become a world champion.”
Times Square Boxing chairman Joe Winters has described the 25-year-old as a ‘once in a generation talent’.