Billy Ward started in sports as a gymnast, winning a Queensland junior title in 2004 but switched to boxing in 2006 and won an Australian junior title in 2007. He was out in 2008 with illness but in 2011 made the semi-finals of the Australian U19 flyweight championship, after winning that event at the Queensland U19 tournament. In 2012 Ward won the state, Australian, and Oceanic Championships to qualify for the London Olympics, where he lost his first bout. Ward was known for his wild, curly red hair and his fans often wore red curly wigs to support him. Sadly, only one year after the 2012 Olympics, Ward took his own life.