Irish Army soldier and professional welterweight boxer John Joyce went full berserker-mode on his debut back in March.
The Lucan man was one the stand-out performance on the ‘Celtic Clash 2: The Rising’ card at the National Stadium where he almost cut Poland’s Patryk Jackowiak in half with body shots to score a first round knockout. Joyce is now back for his second fight at the same venue on September 9 on the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card, and he is looking to make another statement
The night is headlined by a BUI Celtic featherweight title fight between former amateur star and RTÉ pundit Eric Donovan and Welsh champion Dai Davies, and in just one fight Joyce has already marked himself out as one to watch on the undercard.
Looking back on his ferocious debut, Joyce admits that “to be honest with you, it was a bit of a blur because I was so up for it. When I walked out of the dressing room and between the dressing room and the end of the fight it was like a complete and utter blank blur. Something came over me and I was just in the zone straight away.”
“If you had of heard me in the hallway before I got in the ring, I was like a lunatic. I got in there and I put him down three times.I caught him with some lovely body shots and he wasn’t able for them. I love body shots, I’d fire them all day, I hope it was a bit of a statement. The fella had a bit about him, but I knocked him out in less than a round.”
Highly ambitious, Joyce outlines how “I hope to progress as quick as possible, stay busy and maybe fight for an Irish title down the line. I want to stay as busy as possible, I want to make a name for myself, and I want to show people what I can do. Eventually I want to be up there with the best in Ireland. That’s what I want, I want to go as far as I can. After three or four fights then we will survey things. I want to keep progressing, by my third fight I want to be up to six rounds at least. A couple of sixes then up to an eight which will hopefully be for a title.”
Those in attendance on September 9th are in for another show from Joyce, whose rolls forward like a tank every time he steps into the ring. He noted that “the best way to describe me is someone who likes to walk somebody down, wear them down, and hurt them with every punch I’m throwing. I don’t have to load up on my shots to put power behind them because I know I hit hard so I just like to wear people down.”
It’s almost a shock to hear that the 30-year-old is a relative newcomer to boxing. Indeed the Dubliner had a tough introduction to the sport but, such is his nature, he battled through.
Joyce, who boxed with both Lucan BC and Esker ABC, describes how “I only started boxing five years ago. I fought at Intermediate level as an amateur. I had a few setbacks over the years and a few injures. Last year I decided to turn pro and I teamed up with Tony [Davitt], I wouldn’t be too well known in the amateur game but, to be honest, I don’t care about that because I’m willing to do everything I can to really make a name for myself over my next few fights.”
“I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve been in the Army for ten years and I think it was bred into me to be ‘tough,’ and I know that sounds like a cliché. The Army has made me a hard person. I was getting into the ring with these 16 and 17 year olds, when I first started boxing, and they were beating the crap out of me – but, I wanted to be better than them. I progressed, and progressed, and progressed, and it got to the stage where these young fellas had 20 fights more than me and I was starting to beat the living daylights out of them.”
A ten-year veteran, the Irish Army is a huge part of John Joyce – and he feels it is a profession that dovetails well with his chosen sport.
The Corporal explains that “because of the nature of my job, it makes it easier. Because of the high level of fitness that I have to sustain in my job, it actually makes it easier to stay fit in boxing. I try to integrate the both together, fitness wise, what makes me good at one makes me even better at the other. I’m a self-motivated person. I put a lot of that to the job in the army. I have got the backing of the Irish Army. They’re great, they’re on board with me. They love the fact that I’m at a very high level in sport so they help me out.”
Headlined by the Donovan-Davies title fight, the ‘Celtic Clash 3: Building Champions’ card also features Stephen McAfee, Martin Quinn, Aiden Metcalfe, Keane McMahon, Dylan McDonagh, Colin O’Donovan, Chris Mullally, Michael Gallagher, Niall O’Connor, Gerard Whitehouse, Bernard Roe, Aiden Metcalfe, and Carl McDonald.
Tickets for the show cost €30 (Balcony), €40 (Gallery), €60 (Ringside), €100 (VIP Premium), and €15 (Under-15s gallery – must be bought alongside an adult ticket) and are available to buy from John at 086 1900 203 or online at Ticketmaster.ie