Australian Billy Ward (in red) in action against Cuba’s Yosbany Veitia Soto at the London Olympics.
Australian Billy Ward (in red) in action against Cuba’s Yosbany Veitia Soto at the London Olympics. Getty Images

Bundy-born boxer valiant in defeat

BOXER Billy Ward, who was born in Bundaberg, was outclassed in his Olympic debut overnight by Cuban Yosbany Veitia Soto, who won the bout 26-4.

But Ward, 19, who went to school in Miriam Vale and competes in the light flyweight division, has treated the loss as a big learning experience.

Australian boxing program co-ordinator Ben Harvey said Ward was outgunned by the experienced Cuban.

"I thought Billy showed a lot of heart," Harvey said.

"He came back again and again."

Bob Butler, a coach at the Bundaberg Boxing Club for 20 years, said Ward still had a solid future, with boxers usually peaking between 18 and 26 years of age.

"He has another Olympics in him if he wants to keep at it," Butler said.

"He's a real young gentleman too."

The Queenslander was gracious in defeat.

"He (Veitia Soto) was very good. I have to give him credit," Ward told the ABC.

"He has the skills to win a medal."

Ward said he was happy, and his coach was proud.

"It was by far the hardest fight I have had," he said.

"This is a massive learning experience."



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