The Navan boxer, cousin of his Rio Olympian namesake, won the lightweight title with a frankly incredible performance versus Cork’s James Power.
Throwing combinations from all angles, mixing to body and head, and looking every inch a future star, Joyce dominated the decider, inflicting a count in the final round of a one-sided fight versus what was a strong opponent.
The Ballymun BC fighter was typically understated following his fifth Irish title win.
Joyce told Irish-Boxing.com that the win came down to “skill.”
“I just stuck to the gameplan I had in the gym. I focused on boxing over fighting, and I did that throughout, first, second, and third.”
“He had jumped down from 64-65kg so I knew I had the advantage and could go in and dominate.”
It is interesting that the 17-year-old brought up the topic of weight.
Joyce last year won the flyweight under-18 title but, moving up two classes to lightweight, he was defeated in his opening bout of the U18 Irish Open in January.
“I had just jumped up,” noted the rapidly-growing talent who now cuts a solid 60kg figure.
“I feel strong, a lot stronger because I don’t have to kill myself making the weight.”
Indeed, this loss in January – which ended his hopes of going to the European Youth Championships in April and the World Youths later this month – has acted as a motivator for Joyce.
He outlined how “it drove me on, I wanted to win another under-18 title before I turned Senior and I’ve done it.”
“I trained my hardest, I trained every day.”
“It’s a pity I’m not going to the Worlds.”
Next up, instead, for Joyce is a move to the adult ranks and the teenager will no doubt be mixing it at a high level very soon.
“I’ll be ready for the Under-22s in January,” he said, looking ahead.
“I’ll have the headguard off and I’ll prefer that, I won’t be getting caught as much.”
Photo Credit: National Stadium Boxing Videos