While he is usually the one barking out orders, Irish Army corporal John Joyce [5(3)-0] is one for following the instructions of his boxing superior.
The Lucan welterweight, whose day job sees him train new recruits in Óglaigh na hÉireann, entrusts his ring career to experienced coach and manager Tony Davitt.
While many of his fellow new pros are calling for names and fights, Joyce is leaving the when, where, and who to the boxing veteran.
After an impressive display in his first six rounder in Waterford back in February there were some suggesting the Lucan welterweight wasn’t too far away from a title shot. Indeed, in corridors of the WIT Arena after the Ferenc Jarko, bout Davitt himself hinted his charge maybe just one win away from a tilt.
Then, after a stoppage win over Tomasz Goluch on the Celtic Clash 5 card in March the chance to challenge champion Jay Byrne for the BUI welterweight Celtic title arose.
Joyce was game, but Davitt, who watched from the opposite corner as Byrne claimed the strap with victory over Gerard ‘Crank’ Whitehouse, put the breaks on, explaining to his fighter that he would prefer an eight rounder in the bag before the step up to domestic level.
The 31-year-old was disappointed, but trusts his ‘second dad’ complicity and will fight over four rounds on the Celtic Clash 6 show come June 16th instead.
The ever-honest Joyce explained to Irish-Boxing.com how “Tony and myself have had a few chats about it. Obviously I would take a title fight now if I could. Jay suggested a title fight and I would love that but Tony thinks it’s too soon.” ”
I’m still inexperienced and a novice pro so he wants me to have an eight rounder before any title fights. Who knows maybe after that but I understand and listen to everything Tony tells me.”
“Tony has been so good to me and has been like a second dad. I trust him completely, nobody else would have given me the shot he has so what he says goes even if I don’t like it!”
In fairness to Davitt, he has progressed Joyce nicely in his debut year. Celtic Clash 6 will host Joyce’s sixth pro fight in just over 12 months.
The Dubliner has been busy and he believes being active has allowed him to learn on the job.
“I’m really happy to be busy because it’s just helping me develop as a pro. I feel like I am learning all the time,” he continued.
“I feel I have had a good year and about three more fights than I thought I would but I’m not complaining at all. I am progressing nicely and I feel like a completely different fighter to this time last year, I’m fitter, stronger, and faster and I’m only getting better.”
Joyce’s opponent for the Good Counsel hosted show has yet to be officially confirmed, but the fighter isn’t too perturbed with who is next.
“Tony has the opponent we are gonna talk about it when he is back from America but I don’t mind who I face as long as I get a good fight and I learn as much as I can from it,” he noted
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)