The Mullingar super featherweight boxes at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night [October 27th], appearing on the Danny Jacobs v Sergey Derevyanchenko IBF middleweight title undercard.
Joyce will box on a six-rounder on the Big Apple bill and has been matched with Mexican Jorge Rojas Zacazontetl [4(2)-4(0)-1].
The 28-year-old Cholulua fighter built a 4-1-1 record in four-rounders on the dog-eat-dog Mexican domestic scene but the past year has seen him act as the away fighter for a succession of prospects, losing three wide points decisions.
It’s a slightly disappointing match-up for 31-year-old who was due to have a major fight with Ronnie Clark in August only for the Scot to pull out.
The Rio Olympian instead boxed and stopped limited Mexican late replacement Arturo Lopez. Zacazontetl looks to be around a similar level for Joyce who is still awaiting a proper step up in levels.
That said, it is an opportunity to fight and impress at one boxing’s most famous venues and one which cannot be passed up – with step-ups sure to come in the very near future.
‘The Punisher’ said that “I’m going to put on a really big performance and get tongues wagging. I want all the fans and all the American promoters talking about me.”
“This is a really big opportunity for me, fighting in the States. To be fighting at Madison Square Garden shows where I’m at and this will get my name out there with the big boys.
“I’m a come-forward fighter who’ll pressure the opponent as well as make them miss. They don’t want those kind of nights and they know that’s what they’ll get from ‘The Punisher.’”
On his opponent, Joyce acknowledges his slow progression through the levels and explained how “I’m still building my record and people don’t want to fight me. It’s a bit frustrating being so avoided but we’ll go on and keep pushing.”
“Every though I’m only a year into the professional game, I bring a lot of experience to the ring after my amateur career and people know when they’re in there with me, I’ve got lots of class.
“I’ve watched some of my opponent on YouTube and he’s a counter-puncher who goes on the back foot and waits for you to attack. I know he’ll struggle a lot with me though. I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay/”
The card this weekend, one of the last HBO Boxing bills, also features Ballymena light middleweight Steven Donnelly [3(0)-0], an Olympic team-mate of Joyce.
No opponent has for ‘The Donn’, who boxes in a four rounder, has been listed at present.