Top Rank not interested in Bryant Jennings vs. Joe Joyce on Aug.18
By Trevor McIntyre: Top Rank is not interested in matching former heavyweight world title challenger Bryant Jennings (23-2, 13 KOs) against unbeaten 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joe ‘Juggernault’ Joyce (5-0, 5 KOs), according to Dan Rafael. Jennings, 33, had been hoping to face former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker, but he instead chose to face Dillian Whyte. Jennings needs an opponent for his August 18 fight on ESPN.
Joyce, 32, is ready to step up against a top tier heavyweight, and his promoter Richard Schaefer is interested and willing to put him in with Jennings. However, his promoters at Top Rank aren’t interested in making a fight between him and Joyce for some reason. They were willing to let him face the 26-year-old Parker, but they’re apparently not intrigued with the idea of letting him face the 6’6” Joyce. That tells you something about the talent that Joyce as going for him.
When a promotional company like Top Rank is more willing to let Jennings fight Parker than the unbeaten Joyce, it shows that the British fighter has arrived and is now being avoided by the other promoters.
Jennings has won his last four fights since making a comeback last year in August of 2017. He hasn’t faced anyone good since returning from a 2-year absence. Jennings had impressed in his first three fights of his comeback until meeting up with Joey Dawejko last April. Jennings struggled at times in winning a 10 round unanimous decision.
”Schaefer is willing to match Joyce with former world title challenger Bryant Jennings, who needs an opponent for his Aug. 18 ESPN main event, but Top Rank has no interest,” Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. ”Hughie Fury, the reigning British champion, was ringside on Friday, and Joyce is interested in facing his countryman. Point is, Team Joyce wants a serious opponent. It’s just a matter of if they can pay such an opponent enough to be willing to fight Joyce.”
Jennings is being hush-hush about the name of his potential opponent for his August 18th fight on ESPN. Some boxing fans believe that he’s going to fight Joyce. It doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case according to Rafael. The 32-year-old Joyce turned pro 2017, which is very late for a fighter to be turning pro. Joyce’s promoters at Hayemaker and Ringstar are pushing him fast to move him up the rankings, but they’ve been unable to get the like of Dereck Chisora o agree to fight him. Going in the direction of Jennings would be a smart move, but unfortunately his promoters at Top Rank don’t appear to be enthralled with the idea of letting him fight Joyce.
“The name I got isn’t in the top 10 or 15, but if this is what I’ve got to do then this is what I’ve got to do,” Jennings said to Boxingtalk.com about his August 18th opponent.
Joyce destroyed replacement opponent Ivica Bacurin by a 1st round knockout last Friday night at York Hall in Bethnal Green in London, UK. Joyce was originally scheduled to face Richard Lartey, but he pulled out of the fight and was replaced by Bacurin. It was impressive that Joyce was able to stop Bacurin so quickly, because he’s lasted six rounds against Dillian Whyte and 10 rounds against Tony Bellew in the past. Joyce dropped Bacurin with a left hook to the head. Bacurin grabbed the back of the head, signaling to the referee that he’d been hit with a rabbit punch. The referee didn’t buy it and continued counting and waived the fight off. Joyce needs to fight better opposition than this for him prove himself at the world stage, but it’s not easy when the various promoters have no interest in letting their fighters face him.
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