Joyce defeated Michael Wallisch on Saturday night as part of his preparation for the delayed clash
Heavyweight contender Joe Joyce is sweating on a return to the USA to link up with trainer Ismael Salas after dismantling German opponent Michael Wallisch in three rounds to stay on course for an October 24 meeting with British rival and rising prospect Daniel Dubois. The Olympic Games silver medallist trained for his comeback fight in Surrey without the Cuban boxing guru Salas in his camp.
Joyce returned to the UK on March 15 from Las Vegas due to the impending lockdown on flights due to the coronavirus outbreak, and trained for Saturday night’s contest under instruction on Facetime video calls. Salas, once the head coach of the Cuban national team, has trained over twenty world champions, and Joyce believes the Cuban holds the key to developing his style to claim the world title the Fine Art graduate covets.
After a rusty first round against Wallisch, 34-year-old Joyce ended his first fight in twelve months with a vicious right and body shot to end the German’s challenge at the BT Sport Studio in Stratford as boxing continued behind closed doors with the second fight card back under Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions banner. Joyce was caught by right hands from Wallisch in the first round, but then took over from the second round, dropping his opponent three times before the referee Ian John Lewis halted the contest in the third as Joyce pummelled his opponent into submission.
Joyce and Dubois are scheduled to meet in October which has been rescheduled twice this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The all-London showdown is likely to allow the winner into the frame for a world title shot, but Dubois must first defeat decorated two-time Olympian and twice amateur world championship bronze medallist Erik Pfeifer on August 29.
“I can’t wait for the fight with Daniel, and I’ll look to get back to Las Vegas for my camp and to my trainer Ismael Salas as soon as possible” explained Joyce. “I’m developing my Cuban and Latin style as a fighter and I hope to get over there soon.”
Joyce said: “I had to make a quick getaway back to the UK, leaving sunny Vegas. I rang up Salas a few times and he FaceTimed me. He kept on showing me stuff from his gym, and he was putting the finishing touches on my camp. Though that is never going to be the same as when you are in person together.”
“Let’s hope the lockdown on flights lifts” he told Telegraph Sport.
“I have learnt so much under Salas, and he will help me to a world heavyweight title. I’ve had three trainers. I started with Salas when I was under David Haye and Richard Schaefer as a promotional day. Then I moved to Abel Sanchez at Big Bear. Then I moved back and got with Adam Booth. And then I went back to Salas. I’ve gone round in a triangle.”
“But I decided to go back and train with Salas because I believe he can get the best out of me. And the clock is ticking, I’m going to be 35 soon. I’m not 22 like Dubois. I need to get in the best situation to win otherwise it’ll set me back, and Salas is creating my style to beat Dubois. If I win that, I can challenge anyone and it puts me right in the mix for a world title.”