Former Irish amateur sensation handed second Warrington undercard slot

Talented prospect John Joyce returns to the ring on another big card.

The St Michael’s BC graduate debuted on the BT Sports broadcast card topped by a world title fight between Josh Warrington and Kid Gallahad back in June – and will provide support for the IBF featherweight champion in just his second pro fight.

The Moate fighter takes on a yet to be confirmed opponent, as former Carl Frampton foe and Michael Conlan target, Warrington makes the third defense of his IBF featherweight title against Sofiane Takoucht at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, England, on October 12.

The talented five-time European medallist skipped the four-round stage of his pro apprenticeship, going straight into six rounders on his debut, where Joyce got a good work-out in versus Victor Edagha. The ultra-durable Italian gave Joyce a test but the Irish prospect emerged a 59-56 winner – winning four, losing one, and drawing one round.

Having ended his career in the vest at middleweight, 21-year-old Joyce now looks likely to transition into the light middleweight division and may weigh in and around 154lbs come October.

Although there has yet to be wide spread fanfare about the new to the game pro, there are those in the know who predict big things for one of Ireland’s most decorated  amateurs.

The Queensbury fighter went on an incredible run at the start of the decade that left him as, arguably, the most successful Irish underage boxer ever.

With the headguard on, Joyce won nine national titles, European Schoolboys gold (2011) and bronze (2010), European Junior gold (2013), European Youth silver (2014) and bronze (2015). Indeed, the only year where he didn’t win available honours in Europe was 2012 when he was edged out in the quarter-finals of the Juniors by the eventual gold medallist.

As an Elite, Joyce found his progress blocked, losing in his two entries into the Irish Seniors by eventual champions Michael O’Reilly and Emmett Brennan.

As a pro Joyce has been working with the EngageBoxing stable in Airdrie, Scotland, alongside Congolese heavyweight Martin Bakole, Caldercruix super middle David Brophy, and Kelty featherweight Craig Morgan.

Speaking to when he initially decided to turn over Joyce predicted a successful pro career.

“In the long term I believe I’m going tp be the best middleweight in the World and I believe I can beat anybody in the world when I’m 100%.

“But actions speaks louder than words so I have to go out there and prove it!”

Jonny Stapleton 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: [email protected]