It has been announced this evening that the Rio Olympian will drop down in weight to feather and will box highly-rated Scottish fighter Stephen Tiffney [10(4)-1(0)] for the vacant WBO European 126lbs title.
The bout will take place at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester on Friday March 16th and will be streamed live on YouTube.
Throughout 2018 Joyce had been keen on big fights.
In April the Mullingar man claimed that he had offered to step in on late notice to replace Jono Carroll in his match-up with Marco McCullough – who incidentally is a previous holder of the belt he will fight Tiffney for – only for this to be refused by the Belfast boxer.
Joyce was then was due to face Ronnie Clark in August only for the Dundee entertainer to pull out injured and no suitable replacement could be sourced.
The Westmeath fighter would instead dominate Arturo Lopez before defeating Jorge Zacazontetl in New York in a bout where he was dropped for the first time as a pro.
30-year-old Tiffney looked set for big things when he scored a show-stealing win over Troy James back in 2017. However, the Edinburgh stylist would suffer a shock defeat to Lewis Paulin in a Scottish title fight afterwards.
2018 saw Tiffney rebuild with two wins over journeymen and now he goes in with Joyce.
A win for Joyce in eight weeks time will most likely see him pick up a Top 15 ranking with the WBO. The organisation’s current champion is Oscar Valdez who seems to be being built toward a defence versus Belfast’s Carl Frampton – who, of course, is an old amateur rival of Joyce.
The triple EU gold medallist turns 32 next month and needs to be fast-tracked so this is an encouraging sign of progression for the Pete Taylor-trained prospect.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)