David Oliver Joyce to defend against dangerous TJ Doheny defeater

Tricky Romanian Ionut Baluta [13(2)-2(0)] will be out to break Irish hearts for a second successive fight after securing a shot at David Oliver Joyce [12(9)-1(1)] and his WBO European ranking title.

The Spanish based 26-year-old shocked recent world champion TJ Doheny in Dubai as recent as March.

‘Il Capo’ was drafted in to keep the Portlaoise native busy ahead a possible return to world level, but didn’t read the script and registered a massive upset.

Olympian Joyce will look to get Irish revenge and overcome a tricky behind closed doors clash as the pair meet on a stacked August 25 #MTKFightNight.

The Pete Taylor trained fighter goes into the clash on the back of a victory over former world champion Lee Haskins in February.

Discussing the fight Joyce said: “I’m happy to get back into the ring again as it’s been a while. I haven’t stopped training during lockdown and I’ve been keeping my head clear.

“It’s great to be back in camp. We have never left really. We’ve been back working with my coach Pete Taylor for several weeks. When the good weather came in we did a lot of sessions outdoors while the gyms have been closed too. 

“I’ve watched Baluta’s last fight with TJ Doheny. He’s not bad, and throws lots of punches on the back foot. TJ didn’t perform against him, but I’m in a different mind frame. I’m used to taking on guys like this so I’m looking forward in getting in there.”

MTK Global Vice-President Jamie Conlan added: “We are thrilled to add this intriguing fight to our jam-packed #MTKFightNight event on August 25.

“Baluta is riding the crest of a wave beating Kyle Williams and then former World Champion TJ Doheny in March. all the while fighting out of the away corner.

“Davey is coming off a career best win against former world champion Lee Haskins in February and is hunting for a world title shot at super-bantamweight, now ranked no. 12 in the world with the WBO.”

The fight between Joyce and Baluta is part of a stacked August 25, which also features Lewis Crocker facing Louis Greene for the WBO European welterweight title, Lee McGregor taking on Ryan Walker, Gary Cully fighting Kieran Gething and the highly-anticipated debut of James McGivern.

It’s part of a fantastic run of #MTKFightNight events throughout the summer, which kicks off on August 11 with Jono Carroll vs. Maxi Hughes, plus the likes of Sean McComb, Craig MacIntyre and Pierce O’Leary.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com