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Joe Joyce vs. Lenroy Thomas added to Bellew-Haye 2 card

Image: Joe Joyce vs. Lenroy Thomas added to Bellew-Haye 2 card

By Scott Gilfoid: Heavyweight prospect Joe Joyce (3-0, 3 KOs) will be facing Lenroy Thomas (22-4-1, 10 KOs) in a 12 round fight on May 5 on the undercard of Tony Bellew vs. David Haye 2 at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Joyce vs. Thomas could steal the thunder from the main event between Bellew and Haye, as the first fight between them was nothing special to watch due to Tony’s movement and the injury to David in the 6th.

If Joyce can beat Thomas with ease on May 5, it will say a lot about his talent, because the American heavyweight is a solid guy with a toughness about him.

The 2016 Olympic super heavyweight silver medalist Joyce, 6’6”, has breezed through his first three opponents since turning pro in 2017. Joyce recently stopped Donnie Palmer in the 1st round on March 17 in an impressive performance. Before that, Joyce knocked out Rudolf Jozic and Ian Lewison. Joyce is being fast tracked with his career due to his advanced aged of 32, but he’s going to need to be moved a lot faster if his promoter Haye wants to get him a world title shot before he hits his mid-30s.

It’s possible for Joyce to get a title shot within a year and a half if he’s moved at light speed and matched against the upper tier contenders, but I don’t see that happening. It’s not going to be easy for Joyce to get the top contenders to face him if he keeps winning and looking good. Moreover, it’s unlikely that Matchoom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn will let his fighter IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua face Joyce unless he’s his mandatory challenger. Even then, I can’t see Joyce getting a title shot against Joshua unless one of the sanctioning bodies ordered the fight to happen. As such, Joyce is probably going to be hanging around waiting for a title shot until he’s around 35 or 36. Whether Joyce still has his enough of his physical tools intact by that age remains to be seen. Joshua’s future is very uncertain.

Joyce, 32, can try and show what he can do against a fighter that beat David Allen last May by a 12 round split decision in a surprise upset. Allen looked horrible in losing that fight. Thomas totally out-boxed and out-slugged Allen for 12 rounds. Allen will likely be at ringside for the fight to figure out a way for him to beat Thomas when they eventually face each other a third time. Allen fought Thomas in a rematch last March.

Unfortunately, the fight was ruled a 1st round technical draw after Allen suffered a cut from an accidental head-butt. The fighting being stopped in the 1st round might have saved Allen from suffering a second loss to Thomas, as the American has loads of skills and he looks way too advanced for a raw slugger like Allen. For Allen to beat Thomas, he’s going to need at least a few more years to develop his game a little more. Right now I don’t think Allen has the talent to mix up with Thomas and come out on the winning side.

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