Fury and Saunders persuaded John Joyce to sign with Frank Warren

When news broke one of Ireland’s most decorated underage amateurs and fancied prospects was going to ditch the vest back in January promoter interest was obvious.

The Moate middleweight 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.

It’s a record to impress any promoter and it seems it impressed a lot of them and one of two John Joyce’s now active in the pro ranks – the other being Lucan solider John Joyce- reveals he had a number of offers to consider in recent months.

However, there was only one destination for him and that was Frank Warren and Queensbury Promotions.

The Westmeath man wanted to be a stablemate of who he perceives to the be the two best boxers in the world at present Tyson Fury and Billy Joe Saunders.

As a result he claims Warren, who looks after Irish talent such as Carl Frampton, Lewis Crocker, Caoimhin Agyarko and  Karol Długosz was always his first choice.

“There where other offers on the table but Warren was always my number 1 choice,” Joyce explained to Irish-boxing.com.

“(Warren) has the best two boxers in world in Tyson Fury and Billy Joe Saunders so he was always my man.”

That ‘right choice’ feeling would have been cemented further for the 21 year old when he was handed his debut date.

Joyce will punch for pay for the first time on July 16 on the undercard of the BT Sports broadcast world title fight between IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington and Kid Galahad.

Not surprisingly the new to the game pro is delighted his first pro outing will play out on such a big event.

“It’s great to make my pro debut on big card. You only have one pro debut so its one I won’t forget. I’m very excited to have a date now and to be on a very big card.”

Securing that date seemed to take some time considering Joyce revealed he was turning over in January.

However, the fighter himself claims the timing his perfect. Having teamed up with Scottish coach Billy Nelson the young prospect needed time to adjust and get in shape.

“I’m happy I’m making my pro debut  now. I’ve been in camp 4 months and that’s what I needed to get me back in best shape I could be,” he adds before expanding on the Nelson link up.

“Billy Nelson is top man. We work so good together. He is a top coach and man who has helped bring best back out me. He has me better than I ever was he and he isn’t just my coach he is my best friend.”

Now fit, ready and adapted to the pro style Joyce is eager to show just how much of a prospect he is.

“(Fans) can expect a very hungry fighter. I am someone who wants get out there an show world how good I am. ”

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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: [email protected]