by Kris Anthony (email@example.com)
As expected and with reported odds of up to 100:1, Olympic silver medalist and WBC #11 heavyweight “Juggernaut” Joe Joyce (11-0, 10 KO’s) scored an expected third round KO against Michael Wallisch (20-4, 13 KO’s) on the 25th of July at the BT Sport Studio in London.
One person that was not pleased with his performance was former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye, his former promoter and current BT Sport Boxing analyst.
Joyce, ahead of his planned British domestic fight on the 24th October with Daniel Dubois (14-0, 13 KO’s) was considered by many as too reckless (compared to usual) coming in too heavy (270 lbs as opposed to 256 lbs for his last fight against Bryant Jennings) for the fight. Whilst this can be forgiven in what was considered a tune up fight and one of the first fights as the world slowly brings back boxing after COVID-19, this outing did nothing for arguing his case as the winner of the domestic showdown of unbeaten heavyweights.
The weight was (supposedly) attributed to COVID-19 restrictions that kept him away from his usual trainer Ismael Salas, whose gym is in Las Vegas. For the fight against Wallisch, he was trained by Steve Broughton.
If as expected, Dubois (14-0, 13 KO’s) is triumphant over Germany’s Erik Pfeifer (7-0, 5 KO’s) on August 29th at the BT Sport Studio in London, the two will meet at the O2 Arena (London) as expected. Haye points out that Pfeifer is a sterner test and was therefore better preparation for Dubois than Wallisch was for Joyce.
“He got the job done,” Haye said during BT Sport’s post-fight coverage. “Look, he let his hands go. He beat the guy up like he was a bongo. And I was unhappy with the amount of clean punches he was taking. He took about five or six big, concussive [punches] that he could’ve avoided. I know he’s got very good reflexes.
“He didn’t really shine here tonight. I wouldn’t want him to go into the fight with Dubois with the same mindset he had here tonight. He had no consideration for [how] the punches were coming. He [leaned] backwards a couple of times from some of the right hands, crude right hands from Wallisch. But against Dubois, he’s gonna really need to get them feet going.
“I thought he was gonna attack this fight like he would treat the Dubois fight,” Haye explained. “You normally use these fights before the big ones as a little rehearsal, a dress rehearsal. He came in here heavier than I’d have liked him to be and he just marched him down. That’s good and well against this level of opponent. But at world level, when someone can take you out in one shot, you have to get your head moving, you’ve got to show some feints, you’ve gotta set something up. Against Wallisch, he could just go out there and boom, boom, boom. He knew no one outside of world level can take that. This is a good enough to beat everybody up until the top 10 in the world.
“But he’s fighting Dubois, and Dubois isn’t one of those guys you can just walk down. He needs to be a bit smarter. I know Joyce can box. I’ve seen him box consistently in the gym, in the ring. When he’s fought so many different fighters, he’s used his legs. He’s got great movement. He’s a great athlete. As I said, he can do flips. Let’s see some of that stuff. So, hopefully, when he goes back to the gym, he can review the fight and realize the shots he got hit with are shots he should not be getting hit with, where he can then get some confidence going into this big Dubois clash.
“I don’t think he looked [like] the same fighter because he wasn’t moving like he normally does,” Haye said. “He wasn’t avoiding the punches. He didn’t slip. When I say slip, I mean coming into the shot and moving. He didn’t do that. And that’s been something that he’s been working on for a long time. He’s worked with Ismael Salas. Salas is about rhythm, about timing, about flow, about moving. I know Salas is coming back into camp soon for this fight. … [Joyce] needs to get those legs going. He’s got great movement with his legs, and he’s gonna need to use those legs against Dubois to stay out of that danger zone early. If he can get into the second half of the fight, then he can start pressing, in my opinion. Or he may just walk [Dubois] down like [he did with Wallisch]. You never know. But it will be a very, very risky strategy against a young man who punches so hard.”