‘The Punisher’ takes on Scotland’s Stephen Tiffney [10(4)-1(0)] for the vacant WBO European ranking belt in Manchester on March 15th, dropping down to featherweight for the tilt which is a first step towards champion Oscar Valdez.
While the Mullingar fighter claims the Scot is strong and an early career test, he is confident of victory and points to the pair’s differing amateur credentials as to why he will come away with title.
“I won’t disrespect him but I’ve got an amateur record behind me and he hasn’t,” explained the three-time EU gold medallist and Rio Olympian.
“I bring everything – all those experiences at world, Europeans and Olympic level – with me. He doesn’t have a good amateur record so I have it all to lose.”
Despite the confidence, the Pete Taylor-trained puncher claims he isn’t taking the challenge lightly.
The progression-hungry Joyce expects Tiffney to ask him questions in the step-up fight he has been calling for, but has done his homework and plans to have all the answers in Manchester next month.
“He’s a decent guy and he’s a good, stronger fighter,” admitted the St Michael’s Athy graduate who saw fights with Ronnie Clark and, allegedly, Marco McCullough fall through last year.
“I’ve never sparred him but I know his style. He’s a switcher. I’m not going to take anything for granted because he’ll come with a game plan.”
“As an amateur, I boxed some of the best in the world but regardless of the opponent, there’s been no messing about. This guy will bring the best out of me and I’ll show the world what I’m about,” added the fighter who turns 32 this month.