Undefeated Celtic light-heavyweight champion Steven Ward will be back in action in his home city on the MTK Global show at Ulster Hall on March 29.
‘The Quiet Man’ (9-0-KO3) overcame some ugly tactics from Rolando Paredes in October and having healed from injuries sustained in that fight, is delighted by the prospect of performing at the prestigious Belfast venue live on iFL TV.
Ward said: “I’ve healed up now. There was damage than we thought at the time because there was an orbital fracture. I’m 100% now and I’m looking forward to getting back in there. I learned a lot in that last fight.
“There’s nothing like fighting in your home city. Everyone knows it. To fight in the Ulster Hall is amazing. I fought there as a kid but to have a professional show in there is phenomenal. It’s right in the city centre.
“This place oozes boxing history. Years and years and years ago, I have memories of going and watching boxing there as a kid. Now for me to be boxing in there myself is an absolute honour. It’s a beautiful place.
“These MTK Global fight nights are going everywhere. Six shows at the start of the year is unheard of. There’s real quality on them too. They want all their fighters to be active. Now they’ve got the Ulster Hall.
“For where I’m from, the people that support me from Rathfern, Rathcoole and Monkstown – plus the people from where I live now in Taughmonagh – can all get to the venue easily. I’m sure it’s going to be a sell-out and it’s a fantastic bill.”
Joining Ward on the card is team-mate and gym-mate Conrad Cummings, who defends the WBO European middleweight title over his former conqueror Luke Keeler plus Sean McComb, Steven Donnelly and more.
Conrad Cummings will defend the WBO European middleweight title against the man who beat him to the belt last year – Luke Keeler – at Ulster Hall on March 29, live on iFL TV.
Keeler (15-2-1-KO5) outpointed Cummings in the same city in April 2018 before suffering injury; leaving Cummings to claim the vacant crown by beating Ferenc Berki in December.
Now, as MTK Global returns to the proud fight city at the iconic Belfast venue, Cummings and Keeler have very differing opinions on what will transpire in their rematch.
Cummings said: “I’m certain it’ll be different this time around. I lost fair and square against him before and I don’t need to go into why. On March 29, I’ll show what I’m really about.
“I’ve changed lots and made major improvements since that defeat. I’m now settled in with my trainer Jamie Moore and I’m looking forward to putting what we’ve been working on into practice.
“The atmosphere on the night will be electric. It was loud last time but it’ll be double this time. My supporters have stood by me and this win will be for them as much as it will be for me.”
Keeler said: “As far as I’m concerned, it’s still my belt and I’ll put to bed these claims that my first win was simply down to Conrad having a bad night.
“To be honest, it’s been a bit annoying listening to Conrad dismiss my victory. This time, I hope he has a good night so there are no excuses afterwards because either way, I’m going to be going home with the win and the title.
“This is an easy fight to get up for as I know Conrad is a top fighter who’ll have made improvements since that fight but it’ll also be the best ever version of me because I’ve had my first full year training as an athlete under the brilliant Peter Taylor.
“I brought with me a good crowd last time we fought and I’m hopeful this will be another special atmosphere.”
News of the undercard and official ticket availability will be announced in due course.
MTK Global has appointed experienced journalist Sheldan Keay as its new Media Content Creator.
Keay has worked as a writer in boxing and MMA for the last eight years, during which time he has covered some of the sports’ biggest events from around the world.
Keay now joins the company having spent the last six years at the Manchester Evening News.
MTK Global President Bob Yalen said: “We welcome Sheldan to the team with enthusiasm. The media output of MTK Global grew significantly in 2018 and the arrival of a journalist of his calibre guarantees even greater acceleration with new and interesting content.
“With 2019 promising to be our busiest year yet, it’s fantastic to be able to bring in someone of Sheldan’s experience, expertise and drive to help us push our standards up to new heights.”
Keay added: “I’m really excited to join MTK Global. They are the fastest growing boxing team in the world and I’m happy to be a part of it.
“MTK Global has a huge amount of talented fighters at their disposal and I’m looking forward to working alongside them and helping to give them the coverage they deserve.
“Last year was a fantastic year for MTK Global and they’re continuing to go from strength to strength. I’m sure 2019 will be even bigger for them and I can’t wait to get started.”