Joe Ward overwhelmed Mario Rodriguez on Thursday night.

On the night before St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish southpaw stopped the previously undefeated Rodriguez in the first round of their scheduled eight-round light heavyweight fight in Laval, Quebec, Canada. Ward (9-1, 5 KOs) dropped Mexico’s Rodriguez (7-1, 4 KOs) with a left hand and won by technical knockout while Rodriguez remained on his feet.

The official time of the stoppage was 1:31 of the first round on the Jean Pascal-Michael Eifert undercard at Place Bell.

The 29-year-old Ward, of Moate, Ireland, has won nine fights in a row since he suffered a knee injury and lost his pro debut to Marco Delgado in the second round in October 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Ward avenged his loss to Delgado three fights later, when he unanimously out-pointed Delgado (7-5, 5 KOs) in a six-rounder in March 2021 in Salinas, Puerto Rico.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.