Joe Joyce looks to maintain his 100% knockout average on the undercard of Haye - Bellew. Frankie Monkhouse looks at the betting...
"Joyce goes in with a 100% KO average to protect but he’s stepping up in standard of opponent to face Thomas"
British heavyweight prospect Joe Joyce looks to move a step closer to the big time when taking part in his fourth professional contest on the undercard of Haye-Bellew at the 02 Arena on Saturday evening.
With a bumper crowd expected at the arena and millions more tuning into the live action this rates as a perfect chance for the 32-year-old to introduce himself properly to the wider boxing public. To do that he must convincingly beat experienced opponent Lenroy Thomas.
Juggernaut looking to make a statement
Following a glittering amateur career Joe Joyce has been fast-tracked through the professional ranks and it became immediately obvious that the fighter or his handlers weren't prepared to take things easy after shedding the headguard and vest. He made his debut against an established British opponent with a winning record in Ian Lewison at this venue late in 2017 over 10 rounds. Up against it but he got off to a flyer, Lewison's corner throwing the towel in before the end of the eighth.
That baptism of fire gave a taste of things to come and the 6ft 6inch Londoner has fought twice and won twice since, both bouts scheduled for eight rounds, both getting nowhere near the distance. Croatian Rudolf Jozic was blasted inside a round in February and American Donny Palmer didn't do any better a month later.
Joyce goes in with a 100% KO average to protect but he's stepping up in standard of opponent to face Thomas and if he's able to extend his numbers to four knockouts he will be making a real statement. Joyce to win is currently no better than [1.05] on the Betfair Exchange. He's [1.19] to give the judges another half-shift or [4.9] to win on points.
Thomas has already suffered three KO defeats
Lenroy Thomas is a 33-year-old Jamaican fighting out of Florida and the betting would have you believe he comes over here with little chance of winning. With the commonwealth title on the line this is the biggest night of the underdog's career and he not only has the chance to propel himself towards the big pay days, he can also make a name for himself by bursting the Joe Joyce bubble. The 6ft 2inch southpaw has won 22 of 27 bouts, losing four and drawing one.
It's worth knowing that three of those four defeats have come by way of knockout - Arron Lyons dealing with him in four, Dominic Breazeale doing the same next time out and Russian Andrey Fedosov securing his pay-day with a third round KO in 2015. Since then Thomas has won three and drawn one but Betfair traders are confident enough to offer a sturdy 12/1 to anyone fancying the upset.