A win and no injuries was all that mattered. With an October 24 date with Daniel Dubois at stake, heavyweight Joe Joyce produced the sweetest of finishes, dispatching Michael Wallisch with a right hand upstairs, left hook to the body in the third round at the BT Sport studios in Stratford, London, on Saturday night.
With Joyce out of the ring for a year and weighing in at a career high 270lbs, he was understandably rusty early on and a touch leaden in his feet, with trainer Ismael Salas remaining in Las Vegas since the intervention of Covid-19. Joyce’s lack of head movement was punished by a series of stinging right hands in the opener though the Putney man was never hurt. His thudding jab and heavy hands gradually knocked the stuffing out of the previously bullish visitor.
A typically relentless Joyce walked the German down and unleashed the full force of his brutal artillery. In the second, Joyce cranked up the pressure levels even further and dropped Wallisch with a hefty right hand to the body then a clipping blow to the top of the head. The fight demonstrably left the German as he realised he might be able to tag Joyce, but halting his forward march was another thing altogether.
The Juggernaut properly steamrollered the German in third. A left hook dropped Wallisch for a second time after a ceaseless onslaught before that venomous right hand, left hook combination ended the German’s participation in the fight.
Now Joyce’s attention will turn to rival Dubois who meets Erik Pfeifer on August 29 ahead of their October grudge match. Over to you, Daniel.
In a battle of unbeatens, Streatham’s Chris Bourke ultimately had too much natural flair and variety for fighter slash maths teacher Ramez Mahmood to claim the vacant Southern Area 122lbs crown. Referee Bob Williams scored 96-94.
After an evenish opener, southpaw Bourke unloaded with gusto in the second as Mahmood recoiled under a burst of solid blows. The dogged Ilford man regrouped behind the jab to outhustle his rival on workrate in the third though the smoother Bourke evidently held the heavier hands and quicker feet and pulled away in the middle rounds.
The South Londoner’s bodywork looked hurtful throughout. Mahmood soaked up some sickening right hooks downstairs, as gradually Bourke seized control with his crisper work and slicker skillset. Mahmood rallied well in the final two rounds to apparently narrow the gap though one felt the cleaner work of Bourke always held the edge.
Prompting some early comparisons with another ‘Battersea bomber’ Howard Eastman (presumably due to their shared residence and weight division), big-punching middleweight Denzel Bentley was given a solid test by Preston’s canny Mick Hall before winning on a sixth-round retirement with his opponent’s right eye in a bloodied and swollen state.
A switch-hitting Bentley carried greater snap in his punches early, but the dogged Hall remained resilient, banking on his guile and experience down the stretch. Hall was marked under both eyes by the fifth, but pressed the action as Bentley took a breather.
In the sixth, Bentley ramped up the intensity and teed off with renewed devil. A left hook hurt Hall but he dug in grimly and weathered a slew of stiff punches. Yet his eye was worsening and he was wisely pulled out after the session.
Featherweight Louie Lynn won in spiteful fashion, stopping outgunned Scotsman Monty Ogilvie in the second. Ogilvie was dropped in the first and the second by the tenacious Londoner, but on each occasion Lynn struck his opponent while on the canvas. The first time on two occasions – that warranted a point deduction at the very least, but house fighter Lynn escaped with a warning from a predictably lenient Bob Williams.
Teenager Henry Turner trumped Chris Adaway on cards for his third straight win. The southpaw 140-pounder scored a knockdown in the third from a clipping right hook but it seemed more a case of Adaway being caught off-balance. Nevertheless, he won as he pleased. Referee Steve Gray scored 40-35.
Main image: Queensberry Promotions.