Davey Oliver Joyce looking past Olympic disappointment following star-making performance


His Tokyo dreams may have been extinguished before they were even able to really get started but that didn’t stop Davey Oliver Joyce from putting on a show on Saturday night.

The Ballymun BC lightweight claimed the National Elite title at the first time of asking and, despite being just 18, Joyce was one of the stand-out performers on the night.

However, while many were looking at their wins as platforms to head to major championships where Olympic spots will be on the line, Joyce did not have this luxury.

Lightweight has been removed from the Olympic roster for 2020 and beyond and Joyce admits that this does sting but the phenom has enough of a long-term view to be content with Paris dreams, with the Navan youngster likely to have moved up to the eligible light welter by 2024.

“It’s been very tough, to be honest, because I’ve really gotten into 60kg,” the talented teen explained to Irish-Boxing.com.

“63kg, I’d need at least another year or two to develop and 57kg, I could make it, but I’d be draining myself.”

“60kg is perfect for me, so it’s about getting experience now.”

Having won the Irish U22 title last month – beating new Elite featherweight champ Paddy Adamus in the final – Joyce has thankfully made Bernard Dunne’s cut for the team that will head to the European’s in Vladikavkaz, Russia, next month.

In line with his building experience mantra, the Navan puncher is also keen to head to the European Games this summer in Minsk, Belarus.

“Hopefully they bring me with the Elites, that would be some experience, boxing the best in the world,” he noted.

“I’ve been up in the High Performance now, it’s great experience.”

Joyce was speaking immediately after his win over Dominic Bradley, a repeat of the pair’s Under-22 semi-final in January.

On Saturday, though, it was a very different fight, with Joyce winning decisively.

The younger cousin of his namesake Olympian described how “it was completely different, I was sick that time and that’s why he said in his interview that he came on strong in the last round.”

“He tried to do it again there but he couldn’t, I just took him apart. I felt 100% in there.”

“I’m over the moon. I enjoyed it in there, the atmosphere was brilliant.”

“I’ve two Irish titles now in three weeks and the Euro U22s in March. I haven’t stopped since I came back from the European Youths in 2017, I’ve just been training, training, training.”

“It’s all been leading up to this.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie