Joe Joyce expects to be lighter and better prepared when he steps into the ring to battle Daniel Dubois on October 24.
COVID-19 restrictions prevented the big British heavyweight from working with his head trainer, Ismael Salas, for his third-round technical knockout of Michael Wallisch on Saturday night in London. The 6-feet-6 Joyce weighed in at 270 pounds, 14 pounds heavier than he was for his previous fight, and he got off to a very slow start before overwhelming Wallisch with his vaunted power.
Joyce (11-0, 10 KOs) dropped Wallisch once in the second round and twice in the third round. Referee Ian John Lewis stopped their scheduled 10-rounder 57 seconds into the third round at BT Sport’s Studio.
Germany’s Wallisch (20-4, 13 KOs) lost by knockout for the fourth time in his past five fights.
The 34-year-old Joyce will take a brief break, but he hopes to reunite soon with Salas at the Cuban trainer’s gym in Las Vegas.
“It’d be good to get back with Salas as soon as possible, so then I can get back to that Latin, Cuban style, which I love,” Joyce said. “And, you know, I heard from David [Haye] there’s some things missing, and I think with a training camp with Salas, then those little things like will get sorted out.
“I’m not sure if you can fly to Las Vegas right now, but I’m sure things will change in the next couple of weeks or months. And, you know, worst comes to worst, Salas has got a few fights – like he’s looking after a few other boxers, so there’s a few fights. But then, you know, if I’m not able to travel there, then he’ll just have to come here.”
Wherever Salas prepares Joyce, they’ll have to work a lot on his head movement. Wallisch landed numerous right hands in the opening round, shots Joyce cannot afford to take regularly when he faces the hard-hitting Dubois.
The 22-year-old Dubois (14-0, 13 KOs) joined Joyce for their post-fight interview with BT Sport.
“All respect to my opponent from coming down,” Joyce said of Wallisch before directing some comments toward Joyce. “He put [forth] a great effort, but obviously, he, like me, was in lockdown and he took some heavy hits. And I got [rid] of the ring rust and I got him out of there. But yeah, I’m coming for you from a full training camp. I’ve got plenty of time to prepare and I’ll be ready. And I’ll be watching your fight quite closely, so yeah, I’m coming.”
Dubois didn’t appear all that impressed by Joyce’s performance in the 2016 Olympic silver medalist’s first fight in over a year. Nonetheless, the London native now must overcome Germany’s Erik Pfeifer (7-0, 5 KOs) in his own 12-round tune-up August 29 at BT Sport’s Studio to ensure that his showdown with Joyce takes place October 24 at O2 Arena in London.
“I wanna win this next fight in devastating fashion, and bring a good fight to Joe,” Dubois said. “And I can’t wait.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.