Joe Joyce confident of Olympic qualification after impressive World Series Boxing knockout win

Commonwealth gold medallist Joe Joyce is confident of qualifying for Rio 2016 after another stoppage win in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) last week.

The Earlsfield super-heavyweight pummelled Mohammed Grimes into submission in the third round of their contest during the British Lionhearts’ 4-1 victory over the Algeria Desert Hawks.

WSB debutants Jack Bateson and Ekow Essuman also won on the night, while John Newell won by default as his opponent could not travel.

Joyce’s victory was his second stoppage win in as many WSB fights this season and with just one space at Rio up for grabs in his weight class, Joyce feels good about his chances.

“I’m of course confident about qualifying but I have to make sure I’m switched on, but I’m sure I will, I’ve got it in me and I’ve learnt from past mistakes,” he said.

“I’m looking to remain top dog after winning gold at the Commonwealths, but my main priority is qualifying early for Rio 2016 through this competition.”

Fighters accrue points in the WSB through winning their bouts, with the most points being awarded for unanimous decision and knockout victories.

In Joyce’s division the boxer with the most points at the end of the season automatically qualifies for Rio.

With a huge advantage in size over his opponent, Joyce went about systematically breaking Grimes down until his corner threw in the towel early in the third.

“He was a shorter opponent and sometimes they can be tricky so I came in switched on and tried to keep it long,” Joyce said.

“I’m pleased to get another stoppage, the plan is to stop everyone I fight!”

Having fought in two previous WSB seasons, with the Lionhearts in 2012/13 and as the Italia Thunder’s international selection last season, Joyce is a veteran of the competition.

His record stands at 10 wins and one loss from 11 bouts, and he feels his experience in the WSB has helped him improve as a fighter.

“It’s great for me to box different types of opponents and to learn from the different styles I come up against,” he said.

“In that first season, training every week, I improved massively and I got my first taste of fighting with no headguards and going the five rounds.

“It was great to get first hand experience of the WSB so early.”

After his time with Italy, Joyce explained his role as a support structure in the Lionhearts team, while expressing his pride in representing his country.

“I kind of lead from the back and let the lads experience it for themselves, but I’m there as a pillar for them,” he said.

“I’m representing GB this time, I enjoyed my time with Italy but it’s so much better representing your own country.”

Image courtesy of WorldSeriesBoxing via YouTube, with thanks

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