Joe Joyce vs. Ian Lewison preview & prediction
By Scott Gilfoid: 2016 Olympic Super heavyweight silver medal winner Joe Joyce will be making his pro debut this Friday night against the capable Ian Lewison (12-3-1, 8 KOs) in a scheduled 10 round fight at the Indigo at The O2 in London, UK.
Being matched against the 36-year-old Lewison in his first fight is a tough test for the hard hitting Joyce. The 273 lb. Lewison can punch, and he’s a difficult fighter to beat. We just saw Lewison give Dillian Whyte all he could handle a year ago in losing by a 10th round stoppage in a clash for the vacant BBBofC British heavyweight title on October 7, 2016. That was Whyte’s 19th pro fight of his then 5-year career in the pro ranks. It took Whyte 5 years to work his way up to the level of fighting Lewison. In contrast, Joyce is fighting Lewison straightaway right out of the game. That shows you the belief that Joyce’s promoters have in his talent.
It’s going to be interesting to see what Joyce does against Ian Lewison. For comparison sakes, I’m looking forward to seeing how much better Joyce is against Lewison compared to how Dillian Whyte fought him. Whyte had a devil of a time against Lewison. To be sure, Whyte won the fight by stopping Lewison in the 10th, but it was far from easy. Lewison was bouncing some major shots off Whyte’s chin. He took the shots, but he was tested in a major way. That was far from an easy fight for Whyte. The boxing fans that saw the Whyte-Lewison fight live were really into the nonstop action between the two guys. It was a fun fight to watch while it lasted.
The 32-year-old Joyce is being fast tracked by his promoter David Haye and Ringstar to get a quick shot at a world title. Joyce doesn’t have the youth to be moved slowly like some fighters are when they turn pro. But more importantly, the 6’5”, 240 pound Joyce doesn’t need 20 to 30 fights to develop like other pros, as he’s already got the professional style of fighting going into the game. The only that Joyce needs is to make sure he has the engine to fight a hard 10 to 12 rounds if needed. That’s something that can be developed in sparring, however. Joyce can build up his stamina in training for the longer matches if it comes to that.
The idea is to get Joyce a series of victories over top level fighters in the division, and then get him a world title shot in 2018 against one of the champions. It would be great if Joyce could get a fight against IBF, WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, but that might be too much to hope for. Besides, Joyce is rumored to have knocked Joshua down in sparring recently. Joyce was asked about the rumor by IFL, and he would only smile and say he gives a lot of heavyweights a tough time in sparring.
It’s more likely that Joyce would need to get a fight against WBO champion Joseph Parker if he’s not already fought Joshua by then. What the heavyweight division doesn’t need is to have one fighter holding all the belts. When and if that happens, it’ll take years for a fighter like Joyce to get a crack at a world title. That’s the downside of one fighter collecting all the titles. It slows the entire process down for the contenders to get title shots, especially you have a champion that is only defending his title 1 time per year. It could take a long time for Joyce to get a shot at a world title if Joshua or Deontay Wilder get all the belts.
Joyce was arguably robbed of a gold medal victory in the finals of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil against Tony Yoka of France. For many boxing fans that saw the fight, they felt that Joyce did more than enough to earn the victory. I saw the fight and I had Joyce a clear winner. The scoring was dreadful in my opinion. Boxing News 24 had Joyce winning the fight. Yoka was exhausted and hurt by the time the fight was over. If this had been a fight in the pro ranks, I think Joyce would have stopped Yoka by the 5th round. The French fighter was gassed out and hurt by the heavy body shots and head shots that Joyce was landing. More than anything, I think it was the constant pressure from Joyce that wore Yoka down and had him ready to be knocked out at the end of the fight. As a pro, Yoka has looked terrible in his 2 fights. If Yoka and Joyce meet up in the pro ranks, I think it’ll be a mismatch with Joyce easily knocking him out. Yoka doesn’t stand in fight though. He’s more of a runner now as a pro, so Joyce would have to chase Yoka down for him to knock him out. I don’t think it would be a good idea for Joyce to travel to Paris, France to face Yoka. That might lead to another controversial loss for Joyce unless he can catch up to Yoka to knock him out, which won’t be easy, because the French fighter moves nonstop now in his fights. It’s very boring and hard to watch Yoka fight.
Joyce will go right after Lewison from the 1st round on Friday night and look to knock him out straightaway. Lewison has some pop in his punches, but he’s not going to be able to take the pressure and especially the inside fighting from Joyce for long. Lewison will weather the storm in the first two rounds. By round 3, I see Lewison wearing down and getting stopped with a body shot from Joyce. Lewison can take a good punch to the head, but it’ll be a different story once he starts getting hit in the bread basket by Joyce. Lewison doesn’t have the boxing skills and the quick feet to run from Joyce the way that Yoka will try and do, so it’s going to be a war at close range for as long as the fight lasts. I don’t see the fight going beyond round 3. Joyce will wear Lewison down and stop him with a body shot.