Joe Joyce quickly silenced Michael Wallisch on Saturday night.
Joyce dropped Wallisch three times, once in the second round and twice in the third, and beat him by third-round technical knockout in a fight that secured the hard-hitting, unbeaten British heavyweight’s place in a domestic showdown with Daniel Dubois. A brash Wallisch predicted he would destroy the Joyce-Dubois bout by upsetting Joyce, who was listed as a 100-1 favorite over the German veteran entering their scheduled 10-rounder in the main event of a five-fight card at BT Sport’s Studio.
The 6-feet-6, 270-pound Joyce (11-0, 10 KOs), a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, started slowly, yet he eventually overwhelmed Wallisch.
The 34-year-old Wallisch (20-4, 13 KOs) lost by knockout for the fourth time in his past five fights. Before Joyce blew him out, the 6-feet-5½, 261-pound Wallisch was knocked out by Christian Hammer, Efe Ajagba and Tony Yoka in three of his previous four bouts.
Joyce now must wait for Dubois to win his own tune-up fight next month to assure that he’ll finally fight London’s Dubois (14-0, 13 KOs). The 22-year-old Dubois is scheduled to square off against Germany’s Erik Pfeifer (7-0, 5 KOs) in a 12-rounder August 29 at BT Sport’s Studio.
Assuming the heavily favored Dubois wins, he’ll face Joyce on October 24 at O2 Arena in London. Dubois and Joyce were supposed to fight April 11, and again July 11, but their bout was postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Saturday night, Joyce went after Wallisch to start the third round, and the knockout artist dropped him twice in that round.
He sent Wallisch to the canvas early in the third with a left hook to his jaw. A battered Wallisch reached his feet and continued, but Joyce blasted him with a right hand up top and a left hook to the body that sent Wallisch to one knee again.
Referee Ian John Lewis immediately stopped the bout, 57 seconds into the third round, once Wallisch went down for the third time in the fight.
Wallisch went on the attack to start the second round, but Joyce unloaded an array of head and body shots on him. Wallisch landed a couple punches later in the second, but an aggressive Joyce landed a thudding right to the body and a chopping right to the top of Wallisch’s head that sent him to one knee.
Wallisch was able to get up and made it to the end of the second round.
Wallisch landed five overhand rights in the first half of the first round, when a sluggish Joyce started slow. Once Joyce warmed up a little, he landed multiple right hands of his own.
Joyce fought for the first time since last July 13, when he beat Bryant Jennings (24-4, 14 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder at O2 Arena.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.