Boxer and the Beast – The Two John Joyces


There are two sides to John Joyce [5(3)-0] and the Lucan welterweight intends on showing both of them this coming Saturday night.

On the one hand, there is the rapidly improving boxer, plucked from amateur obscurity by veteran Tony Davitt who is quickly becoming one of the most noted prospects in Ireland.

On the other side, there is ‘The Demogorgon’, a destructive animal that seeks to hurt opponents, invariably folding them in half with a wicked left hook to the body.

A red mist can descend upon Joyce – who admitted afterwards that he can’t remember his whirlwind first-round knockout debut – but the Dubliner hopes to show his skill this weekend on the ‘Celtic Clash 6’ bill at Good Counsel GAA Club in Drimnagh.

The Tony Davitt trained and managed puncher believes that the improving technical side to his game is being underrated and is keen to show the results of months of work at the Celtic Warriors Gym

“I think it is, yeah, definitely,” Joyce told Irish-Boxing.com when asked whether he felt he is being underrated by some.”

“There’s a lot of people who’ve told me that I’ve a punch variety.”

“I’m doing a lot of technical work. Tony has me sparring Ray [Moylette] and Stevie [Ormond], two great pros. Stevie is unbelievable and we’re having some great spars. I’m learning loads.”

“It’s funny, we were looking at our experience levels and he [Ormond] has 150 more rounds than I do. It’s absolutely crazy to get good sparring like that.”

“My defence is different too, I don’t really defend like I used to. I do a lot more catching and throwing and slipping and throwing. I’m changing my game up completely and I’m a different fighter altogether.”

The Irish Army corporal’s inner warrior has prevented many from seeing this in the past.

Three of his five fights have ended early, with an almost rage-fuelled Joyce tearing through Patryk Jackowiak, Imre Simon, and Tomasz Goluch. However, against Jamesy Gorman and, especially, Ferenc Jarko, more testing foes, Joyce has been more considered and even more impressive despite the bouts going the distance.

Noting the contrasts, Joyce described how “I know, when I’m in the ring, my ‘other side’ comes out – I’m known for having a bit of a split personality! Something comes over me and I go a bit crazy. Sometimes I’m in the ring and I just see red and I want to tear through the person.”

“In Waterford I think I showed the kind of boxer I actually am, whereas the last fight I showed how much of a killer I can be. It’s good to have a mix of both. The guy in Waterford [Jarko] was very good whereas the last guy, I just wanted to get him out of there.”

Between his full time job and his dedication in the gym, Joyce is a fitness freak. However, at 31 years of age, he remains keen to continue his relatively speedy rise through the ranks.

There is a plan in place for the former Esker amateur which continues at Good Counsel where Joyce will fight over the six-round distance for a second time.

Joyce outlined how “it’s another six and Tony wants to get me an eight rounder afterwards before I start talking about titles – which I want as soon as possible, as always.

“He wants me to do an eight rounder first so I’m used to doing an eight rounder before I fight for titles – even though I know myself I could box twelve rounds without a bother!”

“It’s up to him as always though, I trust Tony with everything, whatever he says to do, I’ll do. I just do whatever he tells me to do”

“I’m not getting any younger. I know that I’m one of the fittest fighters out there, there’s no slowing me down, but, at the end of the day, I’m 31. I feel like I’m only 20 but I suppose I am rushing it a little bit – not too much though, I’m progressing nicely, I think I’m progressing perfectly.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie