First impressions count
From the first time I saw Joe Joyce I realised he has what it takes physically. Now that he has Adam Booth as his trainer, a guy who guided me to world titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight, I feel all the pieces of the puzzle are in place and we’ll see him kick-on.
Joyce needs quality sparring, he needs a coach who will highlight his attributes, which is his tremendous work rate, solid chin and that great amateur experience. If he has the right conditioning and the right technical guidance, I believe he can be a real force in the heavyweight division. His last few fights have shown that. He is stepping up in class again on Saturday against a very experienced, battle-hardened Bryant Jennings.
I have sparred with Jennings in the past and he showed me he is a very tough man, a strong man and a warrior who will test anybody, let alone a prospect like Joyce. I saw a fight where Bryant went 12 rounds with a prime Wladimir Klitschko. The champion wasn’t able to drop him, so if Joyce manages to force a stoppage that will really send out a statement.
Stamina to go the distance
Although Joyce is yet to go 12 rounds in his career, he has shown me, behind closed doors in sparring against good quality opposition, he has the stamina to go the distance. He certainly doesn’t lack engine and fitness and with someone like Booth behind him, who is a master of strength and conditioning, he’s in good hands.
I don’t believe a 12 round distance will be any stumbling block for Joyce. In fact, the longer a fight goes the better Joe will do. His vulnerability comes early in bouts when he’s getting warmed up. Once past round five or six we’ll see him start to flow and really put the pedal to the metal.
The further a fight goes the better his chances are against any opponent. His strengths are his endurance, his willingness and determination to keep marching forward, no matter what’s coming his way and that will stand him in good stead, both in this bout and in future.
This will be a shoot-out
This is a tricky one to call. It’s a tough fight and a huge step up for Joe Joyce. He hasn’t fought anyone in Jennings’ class yet but has shown us in the past he can rise to the occasion. It’s also worth mentioning Jennings is coming in off a stoppage loss to Oscar Rivas, the man who is fightingthis month.
That doesn’t bode well when in with an undefeated fighter. I believe the chances of Jennings pulling off a victory are small, but you can’t write off someone who has gone 12 rounds with Klitschko. He has fought at the highest level and seems very confident coming into this one. Could he score an early knockout? It’s possible.
I predict Joyce to win by mid to late rounds stoppage but wouldn’t put anyone off Bryant scoring an early knockout. This won’t go the distance, it’ll be a shoot-out, an exciting fight and a risky fight for Joyce. Jennings has nothing to lose and will go in all guns blazing, knowing his best chance lies in catching Joyce early. He has scored upset wins in the past, let’s not forget. If he’s unable to tag his opponent in the first few rounds, Joyce willwith his size, strength and energy proving too much.
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