Joyce vs Wallisch Preview
By Oliver McManus
Tonight sees another five fight card return to the BT Sport Studios with Queensbury Promotions’ second offering since the sport bounced back at the beginning of July.
Heavyweight slugger Joe Joyce (10-0) returns to the ring 54 weeks after his last bout: a 12 round decision win over Bryant Jennings. He tops the card, live on both sides of the Atlantic, against Germany’s Michael Wallisch (20-3).
The fight would have been an interesting encounter had it been made in late 2018, early 2019, when Wallisch was being navigated back to the WBO European title. He’d previously held that belt between July 2015 and January 2016 before an enforced absence of 16 months interfered. From then the 34 year old has been looking to make up for lost time without much by way of real navigation or clear intent.
Since 2018 he’s notched up 3-3 record with fairly routine wins over perennial losers Samir Barakovic (3-21), Bernard Adie (16-6) and Abdulnaser Delalic (5-4) all by way of knockout. Unfortunately for the German all three of his losses have ended up with him felled like a tree in the Amazon forest.
Christian Hammer was first, in December 2018, and imposed Wallisch’s first career loss in the fifth round of their contest; four months later and, a raw, Efe Ajagba would need just two rounds to get the job done; most recently, September 2019, Tony Yoka toppled Wallisch inside of three rounds in Nantes, France.
Perhaps Joe Joyce can expect a relatively easy night’s work, then, doubly so given he’s booked in to box Daniel Dubois on October 24th. Joyce, Olympic silver medalist behind Yoka, has racked up nine stoppage wins since his pro debut in October 2017.
The biggest issue facing Joyce in that period has been the (in)consistency of the team around him: numerous promoters, advisors and trainers have crossed paths with the ‘Juggernaut’ leaving him with more strings attached than a harp!
Chief support on the night comes by way of Chris Bourke (7-0) vs Ramez Mahmood (11-0) for the vacant Southern Area super bantamweight title. Bourke, a former Team GB fighter, is signed to Queensbury Promotions so goes into the night as the designated ‘home fighter’ in what is an evenly matched contest.
Mahmood, nicknamed The Mathmagician, has a calculating brain as he moves around the ring and picked up his first pro title last September. Against Jack Budge (4-0), Mahmood was able to control large portions of the contest and, in many ways, comfortably work through the motions: a 98-93 scorecard a fair representation of the bout. This will be his first contest down at super-bantamweight though it’s a division the 26 year old has been targeting for the best part of 12-188 months.
The starkest difference between the two men will be Bourke’s more extensive amateur pedigree: a representative of Team GB and former World Series of Boxing (WSB) competitor. He turned over aged 24 and based himself at the Peacock Gym having previously boxed out of Balham A.B.C. Seven wins, five stoppages, followed within 14 months of his pro debut and the crafty southpaw will be looking for his first pro title on Saturday night.
The biggest win of his career, to date, was a sensational stoppage of Louis Norman (14-7-1, former English flyweight champion). A short left hand thrown as Norman looked to close the gap dropped his man and the contest was duly called to a halt.
Battersea bomber Denzel Bentley (12-0) takes another step up when he faces Mick Hall (15-2) in a contest almost guaranteed not to last the full ten rounds. Bentley has built a ferocious reputation off the back of blasting out opponent after opponent in devastating fashion.
Back in September 2018 he required just 71 seconds to stop Daniel Urbanski (21-24-3) having dropped him on multiple occasions. In his next fight, and on less than 12 hours notice, he caught the eye of Frank Warren by stopping Serge Ambomo (6-7) inside two rounds on a Queensbury dinner show. With each new opponent being presented as one ‘to finally give Denzel some rounds’ sees more hellfire unleashed from the 25 year old: and he doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon.
Hall enters his eleventh year as a professional boxer and does so against arguably the biggest pucher he’s faced. The 34 year old has only lost to one man – Jack Arnfield – and shook off the cobwebs in November with his first fight in over two years. Incidentally, that was a four round contest against Ambomo, scored 39-38, and it was good to see the seasoned pro back in the game.
Against Arnfield he was out-pointed over three rounds (in Prizefighter, 2015) and latterly retired at the end of the 11th round in 2017 due to excessive swelling around the forehead.
Faithful featherweight Louie Lynn (6-0) faces (9-1) Monty Ogilvie which is shaping up to be an interesting contest over six rounds. Lynn re-signed with Queensbury after complications interrupted their three year contract but is back and raring to go.
Having stopped Brayan Mairena inside three round in February this is a good fight to see where he’s at in a competitive domestic featherweight division. Ogilvie, likewise, will be hoping to seize his opportunity and bounce back from Celtic title heartbreak last October. The Scotsman was dropped five times against Nathaniel Collins so will be looking to put those memories behind him come Saturday night.
In a late addition to the fight card, replacing Ekow Essuman vs Cedrick Peynaud, Henry Turner (2-0) fights experienced journeyman Chris Adaway (10-67-4) over four rounds. Turner, a distinguished amateur, has already impressed the big boss at Warren HQ and will look for more of the same against Adaway.
Louie Lynn – 124.1lbs
Monty Ogilvie – 130.7lbs
Henry Turner – 144.4lbs
Chris Adaway – 146lbs
Denzel Bentley – 158.12lbs
Mick Hall – 160.8lbs
Chris Bourke – 121lb
Ramez Mahmood – 121.10lb
Joe Joyce – 270lbs
Michael Wallisch – 261lbs