After years of waiting and frustration, the oft-denied St Michael’s Athy fighter finally made his bow at the Games and defeated Andrique Allisop of the Seychelles.
Following the Round of 32 victory, the Mullingar lightweight spoke to RTÉ and admitted that “it’s been a long time coming. We’ve been waiting nine years to step into that ring and perform to my best. Today I performed decent enough,”
“The first one is always the toughest one. Making your debut is always the toughest part in the Olympic games. Today we got everything down to a tee. It worked out perfect for me.”
“I’ve been focused on this for nine years and the last couple of days the nerves have started to kick in. But that’s the good thing because you focus on your opponent a lot more then.”
“This is where I’m meant to be. This is where I want to be. I’m going to enjoy every moment of it. In that ring – where I do my best things – that’s where it’s working for me.”
Now the 29 year old is faced with the seemingly daunting task of Azerbaijan’s Albert Selimov in the Last 16 tomorrow, but 11/4 underdog Joyce is both familiar and confident going into the clash.
The triple EU gold medalist revealed that “It doesn’t bother me. I sparred him in camps in Azerbaijan for a couple of days.”
“He knows what he is in for. I’m going to go in there and give it hell for leather.”