Joyce could be on his way to being a top 10 contender in the heavyweight division
Joe Joyce returned on Saturday night after a year out of the ring and dispatched a potential banana skin, 10-round contest against German Michael Wallisch with ease ahead of his much-anticipated heavyweight dust-up with Daniel Dubois which was rescheduled from mid-April to October 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Joyce, a silver medallist from Rio 2016, and a fine art graduate, was the first high-profile boxer to take to the ring in the UK after the lockdown and headlined Frank Warren’s behind closed doors event from East London, putting his 6ft 6ins, 19st 4lb frame to work against Wallisch to finish him inside three rounds.
Joyce was caught early in the opening round by the German’s right hand but then came alive finishing the first stanza strongly, targeting the body of his foe.
From the second round, Joyce began to dominate the contest, pounding the visiting fighter from body to head, cleverly avoiding the right hand with more dexterity, and landing heavy punches to fell the German. Somehow Wallisch made it to the end of round.
In the third round, Wallisch was down again and referee Ian John Lewis stopped the fight with the German in no position to continue. With victory, Joyce, 34, will now wait for the result of Dubois’s warm-up contest with Erik Pfeifer on Aug 29. Joyce as he admitted in an interview with Telegraph Sport this week does not have time on his side.
The winner of the Joyce-Dubois fight will be propelled into being a top 10 contender in the heavyweight division. Victory would spell major nights ahead against the renowned names currently sitting on the sidelines awaiting their return later this year, including: Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Dillian Whyte.
Afterwards, Joyce said: “I was pleased and also relieved with the performance to get through it with no injuries. I just want Daniel Dubois to get through his fight now and win in style and then we can get it on.
“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. I’m developing my Cuban and Latin style as a fighter and I hope to get over there soon.”