Michael Wallisch insists Joe Joyce has dismissed him.
The veteran heavyweight from Germany claims Joyce is already focused on facing Daniel Dubois in a highly anticipated domestic showdown that has been rescheduled for October 24 at O2 Arena in London. Joyce laughed off Wallisch’s opinion of how he is approaching their 10-round fight Saturday night at BT Sport’s Studio in London.
“Really? Well, those aren’t facts,” Joyce told BT Sport following a press conference Tuesday in London. “I’m not too bothered. But I need to get through Wallisch, and then I can prepare for Dubois accordingly.”
Handicappers have installed London’s Joyce (10-0, 9 KOs) as a whopping 100-1 favorite over Munich’s Wallisch (20-3, 13 KOs). The 34-year-old Wallisch has been knocked out in three of his past four fights by Christian Hammer, Efe Ajagba and Tony Yoka.
Joyce swears he isn’t underestimating him, though.
“He’s a good, strong fighter, and he has a record to prove it,” said Joyce, who’ll end a one-year layoff when he faces Wallisch. “He’s been in with some big names, like Yoka and Ajagba. So, yeah, he’s gonna be game and he’s gonna be, you know, wanting to take my scalp. So, you know, I’ve gotta come prepared, mentally prepared, because he’s gonna try and win the fight. And there’s not gonna be any crowd behind to motivate me, so it’s just gonna be on me and my team to get the job done on the night.”
Joyce-Wallisch will headline an ESPN+ stream in the United States and a BT Sport broadcast in the United Kingdom.
Coverage on ESPN+ is set to start at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. BT Sport’s broadcast is scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m. BST.
If the 34-year-old Joyce wins what’s considered a tune-up bout, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist will secure his place in the Dubois bout. They were supposed to box April 11, and then July 11, but both events were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 22-year-old Dubois (14-0, 13 KOs) is scheduled to encounter Erik Pfeifer (7-0, 5 KOs), another German opponent, in his own tune-up for Joyce on August 29 at BT Sport’s Studio.
“I’m quite interested to see how that’s gonna go,” Joyce said, “because I’ve seen [Pfeifer]. I’ve shared a lot of training camps with Erik Pfeifer, and I know what he’s got. And it will be interesting to see how he copes with Dubois, and vice versa.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.