Rio Olympian David Oliver Joyce is looking forward to a Team Ireland reunion on Saturday night’s massive ‘Frampton Reborn’ fight card in Belfast.
Six-time Irish Elite amateur champion Joyce (4-0) has his fifth pro fight this weekend – competing in a six-round lightweight bout against Barcelona-based Nicaraguan journeyman Reynaldo Cajina – in support of former amateur rival Carl Frampton, who headlines against Mexican Horacio Garcia at the SSE Odyssey Arena.
An exciting fight bill also features a number of Joyce’s former Irish High Performance amateur team-mates, including Paddy Barnes, Tommy McCarthy and Jamie Conlan with the latter challenging for his first world title.
“It’s just unbelievable to see the talent that’s on the card,” said Joyce, a 2016 Olympian and multiple EU gold medallist. “I don’t think Irish boxing – amateur or professional – has ever seen a card like this with so many talented boxers on it. It’s a great card and I’m so overjoyed to be on it.”
“There’s plenty of familiar faces and to be boxing on the same show as some of my old friends and guys I’ve known from my amateur career is unbelievable.”
Joyce and Frampton fought a series of dramatic amateur bouts before ‘The Jackal’ turned pro in went on to become a two-weight world champion as a pro back in 2009. Mullingar native Joyce waited eight years to follow his old friend and foe into the paid ranks, making his debut last June.
Saturday’s card marks Frampton’s return to the ring after a first pro loss to Leo Santa Cruz last January and Joyce believes ‘The Jackal’ will be back to his best having come through some tough sparring against the Belfast star.
“I’m delighted to see Carl back in the ring and to have him on the same team with MTK,” said Joyce. “It’s like the old days with the Irish team again. We had wars in the amateur game, they were great scraps and just to be on the same show as Frampton again and boxing alongside him is great.”
“I was over sparring with him again recently, so I know what he’s got. He’s going to give the professional game another boost.”
“You’d pay money to watch us spar – the same as in the amateurs – and we got a couple of days of hard, heavy sparring. I was sore going home, I tell you that!”
“To be on such a big show at this stage of my career is phenomenal too and I believe even bigger and better things are going to happen next year.”