Unbeaten Joe Joyce aims to keep warm for his upcoming clash with rival Daniel Dubois. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse browses the pre-fight betting...
" Each of Wallisch’s stoppage defeats have come inside five rounds with the last two before the end of the third round."
Busy few weeks ahead
Finally boxing fans have a decent schedule to sink their teeth into with Saturday's card at the BT Sport Studio in Stratford, London kick-starting an interesting few weeks. It has been a long time coming but, at long last, the sport seems to be heading in the right direction.
Frank Warren for Queensberry Promotions puts on his second card of the month with a five-bout programme televised live on BT Sport. A selection of emerging British talent will be on show but there's no doubting the main attraction, even if it wasn't the fight we had been hoping for.
Heavyweight Joe Joyce takes on Germany's Michael Wallisch over 10 rounds. The aim here is to keep Juggernaut busy and winning ahead of that proposed clash with fellow London star attraction Anthony Dubois. 34-year-old Joyce knows he can't look beyond Saturday's opponent who arrives with 13 previous knockout wins.
Dubois will have to wait
Joyce v Dubois was expected to happen this summer, but the entire British boxing schedule was placed on ice due to the coronavirus outbreak and resulting lockdown. Handlers of both unbeaten fighters thought it best to postpone the match-up, but it is believed fans will get to see the warriors go toe-to-toe before the end of the year. Until then Joyce wants to keep active, continue his winning streak and climb the ladder towards a shot at a major title.
Putney fighter Joyce heads into fight number 11 of his professional career with a perfect record reading 10 wins, nine of those coming by way of knockout. The towering 6ft 6inch prospect has already picked up Commonwealth and WBA continental titles in the highest weight division and the 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist hasn't been given an early ride by his management team either. On his debut he fought and stopped Ian Lewison who brought a 12-3-1 record.
In more recent times Joyce has beaten experienced fighters Lenroy Thomas (22-4-1), Bermane Stiverne (25-3-1) and Bryant Jennings (24-3-0). There aren't many heavyweights active today who have been matched as tough in the opening 10 bouts of their career, but nothing has fazed Joyce to date, and he's eased his way to fifth in the British rankings.
Wallisch's recent form is poor
It's fair to say not many watching the live action on Saturday will be too familiar with Wallisch or his past achievements. That's not to say he isn't a dangerous fighter and a man who arrives in London desperate to upset the odds and make a name for himself. The 34-year-old orthodox boxer from Munich has a record detailing 20 wins against three defeats with 13 of his victories coming inside the distance. A 56% KO average will get the respect of the man in the opposite corner.
Wallisch is the more experienced of the two men in the ring at a professional level and at 6ft 5inches tall he doesn't give too much away in height either. The visitor will know all about the raw power of Joyce, but he will also be aware his rival is still finding his way in the paid ranks. The longer he can stay away from JJ's big shots and remain competitive he may just begin to fancy it.
Despite a decent record which suggests he could be a threat the German's recent form doesn't stand up to closer inspection. He has lost three times already with each of those defeats coming in his last four outings. He was stopped in five by Christian Hammer, taken out in two by Efe Ajagba, beat novice fighter Adbulnaser in two rounds, before being halted in three last time out by Tony Yoka in France. When keeping those results in mind it makes it difficult to build a strong case for Wallisch being good enough to wreck Joyce's career.
Juggernaut to flatten Wallisch early
It's possible that Joyce will want to get a few rounds under his belt and enjoy the buzz of being back under the bright lights, but he will also be keen to extend his stunning knockout average. That alone will help sell the Dubois fight. The Englishman will feel his way into this contest, but he won't want to take any risks with Wallisch.
The fact Wallisch has lost three of his last four and has been knocked out on each occasion makes Joyce by KO/TKO the smart pick here. Unfortunately, traders already have that one sussed so we must dig a little deeper. Each of Wallisch's stoppage defeats have come inside five rounds with the last two before the end of the third round.
Joyce in rounds 1-2 is worth an interest at 6/4 (Betfair Sportsbook). Those fancying a Wallisch upset win by any method can get their hands on 16/1.