JOYCE VS HAMMER FINISHES IN FOUR AS BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT ENDS 12-MONTH LAYOFF TO SET UP BIG FIGHT
Joe Joyce (13-0, 12 KO’s) boxed for the first time since his sixth-round stoppage of Frenchmen Carlos Takam just under 12 months ago at the very same arena; OVO Wembley. The WBO #1 ranked heavyweight suffered a wrist injury late last year which put a hold on the 36-year-old 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist’s career.
Joyce stopped Romanian-German Christian Hammer (27-9) in the fourth round after a competitive first 3 where admittedly Joyce got hit much more than he would’ve liked especially in round one where Hammer could not miss with the overhand right but Joyce’s granite chin saw him ‘weather the early storm’ and take out Hammer in the fourth after dropping him in the third.
Joe Joyce was planning to face Joseph Parker on July 2 and then September but Parker signed with BOXXER/Sky Sports so Joyce will have to look elsewhere for his big fight. Even pre-Joyce vs Hammer, the pencilled-in date for Joyce’s next fight was September 24, likely in London. The juggernaut is expected to return on that date against a top 15 heavyweight before targeting the Usyk-Joshua 2 winner.
Chief Support: Jason Cunningham vs Zolani Tete
On the Joyce vs Hammer chief support, South African two-weight world champion Zolani Tete (29-4) dominated and brutally stopped Doncaster’s IBF #6 Jason Cunningham (31-6) to explode onto the 122-pound world scene. Tete dropped Cunningham with a precise 1-2 and followed it up with an unanswered flurry ending a scary left hand that saw Cunningham fall head first onto the canvas.
Cunningham was down for several minutes and treated by paramedics before making it onto his feet. Tete easily stopped a man who’s proven himself at domestic and European level and showed that he still has a lot to offer whether that’s at a 118-pounds or 122.
Frank Warren ensured the media in the aftermath of Joyce vs Hammer that both Tete and Cunningham were with Queensberry and like the hall of fame promoter has done time and again, he would carry on giving opportunities to both the winner and loser. Warren stated he would work to get Tete a world title shot. We’d like to see Cunningham in with Ionut Baluta who upset Brad Foster (a man that Cunningham also beat) in May.
IBF European Lightweight Championship: Mark Chamberlain vs Marc Vidal
Lightweight Prospect Mark Chamberlain won his first professional title on the Joyce vs Hammer Card as the unbeaten prof claimed the IBF European Lightweight Championship to go to 11-0. Chamberlain won a 10-round unanimous decision (Scores 100-90×3) over resilient Spanish lightweight Marc Vidal (13-2-5).
Chamberlain was unloading on and hurting Vidal in almost every round. However, Vidal was keen not to get stopped and subsequently fired back at Chamberlain regularly, attempting to push the unbeaten lightweight back. Many critics felt that the fight could’ve been stopped after 5-6 rounds and there was no need for Vidal to take unnecessary punishment.
Chamberlain was far from flawless though. A lack of consistent jabbing and distance control meant that not only did he let Vidal into range too easily but Chamberlain could not get enough leverage on his own shots because he was smothering his work. Instead, we saw eye-catching flurries from chamberlain which were good to watch but not as effective as a couple of clean power shots at the right range.
Professional Debut Of Tommy Fletcher
New Queensberry signing, Norfolk Cruiserweight debutant Tommy Fletcher demolished unbeaten Croatian Aron Vrnoga (1-0) in under a minute, much to the delight of his large fan base at the arena. The 6ft 7 20-year-old wasted no time getting to work and quickly took out his opponent who offered little back.
With the fanbase, power and physical features of the S-Jam-managed Fletcher there is no doubt that he could go far and be a marquee name in the Queensberry stable in the coming years under the guidance of trainer Mark Tibbs.
Joyce vs Hammer Undercard Fight 2: Mickey Burke Jnr
London Welterweight Mick Burke moved to 7-0 with a controversial points decision over 2012 Cameroonian Olympian turned journeyman Serge Ambomo (7-31-3). Referee Victor Loughlin scored the fight 60-55 giving Turner every round with Ambono a share of one round. Most critics at ringside had Ambono winning the fight 58-56 giving Turner nothing after rounds 1 and 2.
Back to the drawing board for Micky Burke who is lucky to keep his zero. Burke clearly was very uncomfortable when Ambono pushed him back and worked him on the inside. Something which you only really only see in professional fights and you don’t get through the amateurs.
Joyce vs Hammer Opener: Henry Turner
21-year-old Super Lightweight Henry Turner extended his professional record to 8-0 with a 60-54 points win over Jakub Laskowski (4-17-1) on the first fight of the Joyce vs Hammer undercard. Laskowski had not been stopped in his last 12 fights prior to this and although Turner set a high work rate delivering sharp left hands to body and head, it wasn’t enough to beat the Polishmen inside the distance.
Although Turner is only 21 years of age, he’s stayed nice and active, had the learning fights and is now in the position to step up into 8-rounders targeting titles in 2023. Queensberry matched 7-0 Eithan James at the same weight with Ben Fields and Fields gave him a good, competitive learning fight. I’d like to see Queensberry put Turner in with Fields over 8 rounds next.
Joyce vs Hammer Ringside Report By Darshan Desai
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