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Highly-rated Irish boxer Joe Ward suffers gruesome leg injury in professional debut (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Highly-rated Irish boxer Joe Ward suffers gruesome leg injury in professional debut (GRAPHIC VIDEO)
'Mighty' Joe Ward suffered a disastrous professional debut as he was forced to retire in the second round of his bout with Marco Delgado in Madison Square Garden on Saturday after suffering a freak knee injury.

Ward, the 2017 European Amateur Championship gold medalist and World Amateur Championship silver medalist, was tipped to make short work of the 6-1 light heavyweight Marco Delgado, but disaster struck for the Irishman in the second stanza of the fight on the undercard of Gennady Golovkin's win against Sergiy Derevyanchenko.

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As Ward stepped back to avoid a combination from his opponent, his left knee gave way and he fell to the canvas in obvious distress.

The broadcast cameras quickly picked up on the source of the issue as Ward's left kneecap had dislocated and had taken up residence several inches to the side of its usual spot.

Ward was then forced to endure a painful physical procedure as a cabal of ringside medics assessed the damage and ultimately decided to manually put his patella back in place as the boxer could be heard moaning in discomfort. 

As the Irishman was unable to continue, Delgado was awarded the victory by way of technical knockout. 

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Ward suffered the same injury to the same knee in a 2013 amateur bout with Polish light heavyweight Mateusz Tryc at the Palace of Sport in Minsk, Belarus after the two fighters clashed knees during their fight.

A dislocated knee commonly occurs when there is a blow or a sudden change in direction when a leg is planted on the ground. Recovery time is generally around six weeks or more.

Ward turned professional in August after signing a deal with boxing promoter Lou Di Bella, and will be looking to bounce back in his next outing once his knee has had time to recover and restrengthen.

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