More Tony Time – John Joyce steps up ahead of Noely Murphy clash

John Joyce [7(4)-0] wouldn’t be surprised to see the silver head of Tony Davitt on the pillow next to him when he wakes in the early hours of the morning to do his road work.

The veteran trainer is so intent on ensuring that the 31-year-old registers victory in what could be a career-changing fight against Noel Murphy that the pair have all but become joined at the hip.

The former top IABA coach has managed and trained Joyce since the Lucan welter has turned over but wasn’t necessarily ‘hands on’ in the gym as the solider worked his way through journeyman opposition.

However, Davitt has turned things up a notch since it was confirmed his man would travel to Boston to fight Cork’s Murphy on a Murphys Boxing card on St Patrick’s weekend.

Joyce faces the Macroom youngster at the House of Blues on Saturday March 16th and is going to the next level ahead of what will be his first eight rounder

“Everything is different. Tony and I are glued to each others’ side, but I think we will be sick of each other by the end of this camp,” Joyce explained to

“We are on the phone to each other constantly, we are constantly in each others’ pockets, we are constantly training together. He is doing pads with me which he hasn’t done in a while either. He won’t let anyone near me, he has wrapped me in a bubble and is keeping everyone away from me. It’s been great, different, but good different.”

The increased intensity of a relationship that was always deemed tight exemplifies the importance of the bout for both – and Joyce claims he certainly has brought training to a whole new level ahead of his Boston trip.

“It has made a difference to me. I am increasing my training. I am increasing everything I am doing basically. Normally when I was dieting I was having cheat meals, I am not having them now.”

“I am doing a whole body flush out at the moment. I am going flat to the mat for this one. I am not making any mistakes or leaving any stone unturned. I am making sure I do everything right.”

It’s not just work rate or food discipline that have been “different” for ‘The Demogorgon’.

Joyce, who trains and spars at the Celtic Warrior Gym, has planned specific sparring for the clash with the New York-based Leesider.

“I did 24 rounds of sparring last week and the same this week. I am going to Portlaoise to spar amateur southpaws for the pace and that. Then we are talking about a trip to Liverpool.”

One thing that will remain the same in terms of fight prep for the Dubliner is the trust he puts in Davitt to study his opponents.

While he will increase work rate and so on he won’t increase the amount of opponent study he does, studying Murphy will be all down to his new bedfellow.

“I leave it up to Tony to watch him. I’ll do what Tony tells me to do then. I genuinely don’t watch them.”

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


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Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 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: