Heavyweight sensation Joe Joyce maintained his undefeated record with a first round knockout of late replacement Ivica Bacurin last night at London’s home of boxing The York Hall, Bethnal Green, promoted by Hayemaker Ringstar.
In front of a packed house with an electric atmosphere, Joyce, the Commonwealth Champion, made it his third first round stoppage as he halted Croatia’s Bacurin at just 1:54 of the opening round.
Bacurin had taken British heavyweights Dillian Whyte to six rounds and Tony Bellew to ten rounds on his previous visits to these shores, but he was up against the imposing presence of the 6ft 6in ‘Juggernaught” and quickly realised he was out of his depth.
From the opening bell Bacurin went on the back foot, with Joyce moving well and getting his distance right with his heavy jab. Joyce looked very relaxed as he utilised improved head and body movement and cutting the ring off with some great footwork. A solid right hand from Joyce hurt Bacurin as he was going back towards the ropes and then moments later Joyce landed a left hook to the top of Bacurin’s head that dropped him.
With Jeff Hinds waving it off, Joyce celebrated his victory and showed off his amazing athletic agility for his 17st 13lb frame with his trademark capoeira flip.
Rivals and potential next opponents Hughie Fury, the newly crowned British Champion, and Derek Chisora were both at York Hall, witnessing the power of ‘The Juggernaut’ from ringside as Joyce took his record to 5-0. Keen to keep fighting regularly, he now looks at who will be willing to step in the ring with him next despite establishing himself as one of the most avoided heavyweight in the division.
Joyce, who based his training camp in Kazakhstan for the fight, said afterwards.
“It was good in there. Despite the early finish, I showed that I’m improving all the time with my footwork, head and body movement with my trainer Ismael Salas. I know that the power is there, that will always be there. I just want to fight regularly, keep improving and I can’t wait to get in the ring again. Fury and Chisora were both here tonight, I’d love to put my Commonwealth title up against Fury’s British belt and the best man will win. Chisora knows it will be career ending if he fights me so he’s a wise man to keep dodging me. Either way, my promoters David Haye and Richard Schaefer will have plenty of exciting options for me so we’ll just keep moving forward.”
Haye added, “He knocked out Lenroy Thomas with that short left hook. Joyce doesn’t look like there’s much power there but believe me I’ve seen him knock so many people out in the gym with his short crisp punches , he’s so heavy handed. Bacurin went six rounds with Whyte and ten with Bellew and Joe dispatched him with a short left hook in the first. It’s testament to his punch power and it’s another win.”