Joe Joyce headlines Queensbury Promotions’ second show since their return against Michael Wallisch in a ten round clash at BT Sport Studios on Saturday.
Hall of Fame Promoter Frank Warren lead British boxing’s UK return behind closed doors, following the Coronavirus pandemic, as British and Commonwealth champion Brad Foster battled past James Beech, almost two weeks ago.
Joyce (10-0, 9 KOs) already has a re-arranged October date at the O2 Arena against Daniel Dubois pencilled in, but the pair first shake off the rust in warm up bouts, with Dubois taking part in his ten rounder on August 29 against Erik Pfeifer.
The 34-year-old is a man in a hurry, having started the sport at 22. A decorated amateur, he reached the final of the 2016 Olympic Games and was unlucky to settle for a silver medal in a tight loss to Tony Yoka.
‘The Juggernaut’ turned professional in October 2017, aged 32, and has since been moved quickly, as a result.
Joyce scored an eighth round stoppage over former British title challenger, Ian Lewison and in just his fourth outing, Joyce became Commonwealth champion, knocking out Lenroy Thomas in two rounds at the O2.
Earlier today, @JoeJoyceBoxing took part in Boxing’s first face off through a Perspex screen at a socially distanced press conference…
He did not disappoint 😂
𝐉𝐨𝐲𝐜𝐞 🆚 𝐖𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐡
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) July 21, 2020
Joyce appeared on the undercard of Deontay Wilder’s controversial draw with Tyson Fury at the Staples Center, winning the WBA Continental belt with a one round blow out of Joe Hanks.
Since then, the Putney man has beaten a trio of experienced names, albeit faded versions. Joyce defended his Commonwealth belt in six rounds in February 2019 against former WBC champion, Bermane Stiverne, and three months later, he stopped former World title challenger Alexander Ustinov in three.
His last assignment came in July last year, when he was taken the distance for the first time as a pro by Bryant Jennings, another former World title challenger, in what was a scrappy affair.
Joyce was due to meet Daniel Dubois at the O2 in April, but the Coronavirus Pandemic firmly put paid to that plan. He now warms up for the rescheduled date against a man who has firmly found his level in Michael Wallisch (20-3, KO13).
Wallisch is a professional of some ten years, and after a promising start to his career, the Munich man is now 1-3 in his last four starts, with all three losses coming by stoppage.
After going 19 unbeaten against nondescript, Wallisch put his record on the line against Christian Hammer, who proved far too seasoned for him in a fifth round knockout win.
The rebuild would stall too, as his next task came in Las Vegas, where talented up and comer, Efe Ajagba stopped hi, in two rounds in April 2019.
The 34-year-old returned in Germany to record a low key win, but his last outing came in September last year, when he travelled to France, where he was stopped in three by Yoka.
Prediction: Joyce won’t look to hang around here, and the fight is designed to shake off the cobwebs before his meeting with Dubois in the Autumn.
Wallisch’s ambition has recently been extinguished by early losses and Joyce will want to add to that list, and match the feat of his amateur rival, Yoka. I can’t see this one lasting more than three rounds and Joyce may feel out his opponent in the opener, before stepping on the gas for an early win.
The vacant Southern Area Super-Bantamweight title is on the line as well as unbeaten records, as Chris Bourke (7-0, 5 KOs) and Ramez Mahmood (11-0, 2 KOs) lock horns.
Mahmood is a former Southern Area champion at Featherweight, while Bourke holds a knockout win over former English champion, Louis Norman in December 2019.
Battersea-based Middleweight Denzel Bentley (12-0, 10 KOs) is ready to break out and Preston’s Mick Hall (15-2, 2 KOs) is a great opponent for him to do that.
Hall’s two defeats have come at the fists of Jack Arnfield, who scored a points win in a February 2015 Prizefighter tournament, and then an 11th round stoppage in January 2017.
Bentley has only been in with a man with a winning record once, stopping the 10-1 Kelcie Ball inside a round in September last year and beating Hall would be an impressive step forward.
Louie Lynn (6-0, 5 KOs) continues his professional education in a six round Featherweight contest against Monty Ogilvie (9-1, 1 KO) who suffered his first career setback, down five times in an unsuccessful challenge for the Celtic Featherweight title against Nathaniel Collins.
Super-Lightweight prospect Henry Turner(2-0) has been added to the bill as a late replacement, after Ekow Essuman’s clash with Cedrick Peynaud was postponed, with the Frenchman pulling out through injury.
Turner, a seven time national champion and former European amateur titlist faces Chris Adaway (10-67-4, 1 KO).