In just his fourth professional fight, Joe Joyce (3-O, 3 KOs) steps up in class to face Commonwealth champion Lenroy Thomas (22-4, 10 KOs) on the Bellew-Haye II undercard at the O2 Arena on May 5. This will be the first official defence of Thomas’ Commonwealth title after an unfortunate clash of heads in his last fight with Dave Allen resulted in a technical draw.
Since entering the boxing business ten years ago and deciding to make the transition over to the paid ranks, at the age of 32, the decorated, former GB amateur continues to climb the pro ladder after reaching the pinnacle of the amateur game, with a Silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, controversially losing out to Tony Yoka, who has also turned professional.
Under the guidance of his management team, Hayemaker Ringstar, Joyce has been fast-tracked quicker than most heavyweights at a similar stage in their careers but is willing to test himself against a better calibre of opponents each time he steps in the ring.
Sparring with the likes of unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and working closely in camp with one of Britain’s most accomplished cruiserweights in history, David Haye, Joyce will certainly have learnt a lot in training to have the bit between his teeth to take the division by storm and showcase his skills adopted in the amateurs. Joyce is said to have had all-out wars with the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO king and has even shared the ring with Tyson Fury who makes his long-awaited return to the ring on June 9 in Manchester.
Haye, who has a rematch of his own to handle against Tony Bellew, will have a close eye on his protégé Joyce before looking to get his redemption on the top of the bill.
With a fantastic repertoire of shots, good rhythm and an outstanding engine, Joyce has already got the makings of being a complete fighter but will need to prove himself when he steps up to the elite level, similar to when he travelled all around the world with the GB squad to face different opponents with different styles.