Joe Joyce vs. Ian Lewison analysis & prediction
By Scott Gilfoid: 2016 Olympic super heavyweight silver medalist Joe Joyce will be making his pro debut tonight against British domestic level fighter Ian Lewison (12-3-1, 8 KOs) in a 10 round scheduled fight in the main event at the Indigo at The O2, in London, England.
Lewison, 34, is a big puncher with a lot of knockouts on his resume in his 16-fight career. Lewison is especially dangerous in the early rounds of his fights, so Joyce will need to take some big shots for him to get the win tonight. Lewison is going to have his own chin tested many times in this fight. We could see an early knockout if Lewison isn’t up to the mark. Lewison has only been stopped once in his 8-year pro career, and that was to Dillian Whyte last year in October.
Whyte stopped Lewison in the 10th round, but it was a real war. I lost track of all the big right hands that Lewison landed to the chin of Whyte. To his credit, Whyte took the shots bravely and continued to fire off his right hands. During the time of the fight, Whyte still hadn’t regained the strength in his left shoulder from the surgery he had on that arm in 2015. In his last fight against Malcolm Tann, Whyte finally seems to be getting the power back in his left shoulder that he once had before he injured it before his loss to Anthony Joshua in 2015.
Joyce’s promoter David Haye is pretty excited about this fight, and maybe even more than him. Haye sees great things for the 6’6” Joyce, and he believes he’s capable of winning the heavyweight world titles in a very short period of time. For that to happen, Joyce will need to get a fight against the Eddie Hearn promoted Anthony Joshua. That prove difficult, however, because Hearn has been very careful in the type of guys he’s let fight his golden goose Joshua. Haye and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder still hasn’t gotten a shot at Joshua, and neither has Luis Ortiz. With Joyce rumored to have dropped Joshua in sparring recently, it’s probable that he’s not going to get a title shot against him until he becomes his mandatory challenger.
“He’s a seasoned campaigner,” said Haye to IFL TV about Ian Lewison. “I’ve had Lewison in camp with me, sparring over the years. He’s been in the game for a long time, and I know he’s got power in either hand. Early doors, he’s very dangerous. A year and a half ago he was in the ring with Dillian Whyte. He pushed Dillian Whyte in a competitive fight for 10 rounds, and he retired on his stool. But he only had a few weeks’ notice for that fight. This time, we’ve made sure he’s had ample training, so we’re going to get the best from Lewison in the ring. I wanted to make sure of that. I believe Joe Joyce is that good. I don’t need to try and catch somebody on 2 weeks’ notice. I’m going to make sure that Ian Lewison is in prime condition so that after the fight, no one can say that you only gave him 2 weeks’ notice,” said Haye.
Haye has given Joyce, 32, a tough opponent for his first fight of his pro career. It took Whyte until his 20th fight of his career before he fought Lewison. Of course, Whyte never won an Olympic silver medal in the 2016 Olympics either. Having seen Joyce’s gold medal match against France’s Tony Yoka in 2016, I had Joyce easily winning the fight. I wasn’t surprised he lost though, because Yoka came into the fight with a lot of hype behind him. Joyce probably would have needed to knockout Yoka on the night for him to get the win, because the scoring was dreadful from the Olympic judges. It looked like a clear win for Joyce, but the judges gave it to Yoka.
”We know he’s coming to fight. We know that Joe Joyce is in there for 10 rounds; anything less is a bonus,” said Haye. ”He’s ready for 10 hard, grueling rounds. In training, he’s been showing me what you would expect a young fighter to show. I’m very fortunate that I’m going to be part of his amazing journey,” said Haye.
Joyce has the size, power and the fighting style to stop Lewison early. If Joyce goes to the body against Lewison right from the start, it’s going to be hard for him to withstand the power for long.
Lewison can take a good head shot, but he’s not faced any real big punchers during his career. Even Whyte isn’t a huge puncher. He used to be a big puncher before he hurt his left shoulder. Lewison’s ability to take body shots will be tested tonight. I don’t think Lewison is going to be able to take the punches to the body that he’s going to need to take for him to have a chance against Joyce.
The best guys that Lewison has fought during his 8-year pro career are these fighters:
• Derric Rossy – loss
• Dillian Whyte – loss
• Tom Dallas
• Timo Hoffmann
• Colin Kenna – Loss
“As a professional boxer, Joe Joyce is a come forward fighter, and I’m a big puncher,” said Haye. “If we ever sparred with one another, one of us would end up getting smashed to bits, and I’ve seen how good his chin is. I’ve seen him take big shots. So, it could be a hard night for me. I’d have to go guns blazing. I think it’s good to keep us completely separate. We both have our own sparring partners. We’re both working on different things. As his promoter, we keep it a little separate in the ring. It would get very, very tasty in there. People don’t realize that,” said Haye.
I don’t think anyone is asking for Haye to spar with Joyce. With Haye being Joyce’s promoter, it wouldn’t be a good situation. Besides that, Joyce needs to be sparring with bigger fighters than Haye for him to get ready to take on the other tall heavyweights in the division like the 6’7” Deontay Wilder, 6’6” Anthony Joshua and 6’4” Jarrell Miller. I’d like to see Joyce and Miller mix it up in the near future. Miller likes to fight on the inside, and so does Joyce. Those two would be standing and throwing huge bombs from start to finish if that fight were made before them.
“With his style as an amateur, you didn’t quite get to see the dimensions of his movements,” said Haye about Joyce. ”But working with Ismael Salas, he’s somehow brought that out of him. He’s an athletic guy, and you’ll be seeing that in his performance. I don’t believe in his amateur pedigree that you saw the very best that he could do. But now, Friday night, come down to the Indigo Arena, check it out. It’s going to be the start of the next heavyweight champion. Believe me; I’m so confident of his ability. I need to hurry up and end my career before he starts. I need to quickly achieve what I need to achieve before he comes, because he’s hot on my tail already, and he hasn’t even had his first fight yet,” said Haye.
It would be impressive if Joyce can get a world title shot in the next year. I don’t think Hearn is going to let Joyce anywhere near Joshua in the next 2 years. Without Joyce becoming the mandatory challenger for Joshua, Hearn isn’t likely to even consider making a fight between him and his fighter AJ. Hearn will probably give the excuse that Joyce needs to build up the fight more by fighting Whyte. I think Hearn is going to use Whyte as a gate keeper to block the top guys from getting a shot against Joshua and potentially knocking him out. Hearn will likely have Whyte standing in the way of the top fighters like Joyce.