Big test for unbeaten Commminwealth heavyweight champion Joe Joyce as he faces former WBC Champion Bermane Stiverne Feb.23
Joe Joyce will defend his Commonwealth heavyweight title in the biggest test of his unbeaten career when he takes on former WBC Champion Bermane Stiverne on Saturday,23rd February at The O2 in London The 6ft 6in ‘Juggernaut’ from Putney, South West London, has destroyed all seven of his opponents since turning professional in October 2017 after capturing the Silver medal at the Rio Olympics and has singled himself out as one of the most feared talents in the heavyweight division. The fight has added bad blood thrown in resulting from a sparring session between Joyce and Stiverne in which Joyce was angered by comments from Stiverne in an interview afterwards when he said he took Joyce to school. Joyce said, “I had respect for Bermane Stiverne. We sparred in Las Vegas; he said he took me to school in an interview etc, it got ugly and it made this fight happen. I tried to be respectful of him, but he’s rude and was having none of it. He is a former World Champion that has gone 12 rounds with Deontay Wilder and will give me a real challenge; but my engine and my power will be too much for him, a fact he should be aware of!” Stiverne said, “I told my promoter Don King to get me any man on earth and I will fight for the right to prove myself to the world. Then the phone rings, it’s Don, he tells me Joe Joyce - a boxer with only seven bouts - agrees to meet me! ‘Seven bouts?’. Seven fights and he has the audacity to box me? I have stopped Chris Arreola, Ray Austin, the then undefeated Kerston Manswell - and a boxer with seven fights wants to box me?!.’ I said to Don ‘Sign it, take it, grab it,’ I’m ready. Seven fights - and he wants to box me? For me it is a dream come true - but for Joyce it will be a nightmare. I will knock out Joe Joyce and step over him to KO Anthony Joshua. I’m primed and ready. The real Bermane Stiverne will be there on February 23 and will knock out Joe Joyce en route to regaining my heavyweight crown.” Stiverne’s legendary promoter Don King, added, “It is with my greatest pleasure that Don King Productions can announce our return to Jolly Old England - the ’Cradle of Boxing" where my pugilistic giant - the Former Heavyweight Champion of the World Bermane Stiverne begins his comeback at the expense of the Giant Joe Joyce. "Unfortunately, for the local fans of Joe there will no ‘re Joycing’ - as my once - and future champion Bermane Stiverne will slay Joyce just like St. George did the dragon of old. But no matter, we will pick up the pieces and bring back Joyce just as I have brought back and helped build many a future together. I recall when I came here with Oliver McCall and he was given no chance against Lennox Lewis. "Then the underdog became the top dog when Oliver KO’d the previously unbeaten champ and we went home with the title. History will repeat itself of February 23 when Bermane sends another undefeated Englishman to defeat. Now retooled, resuscitated, renewed, rejuvenated and recommitted Bermane Stiverne will resurrect his career on February 23 when the ’Lord of Ring" crushes the "Lord of the World" - ’Juggernaut" Joyce on his inexorable march to regain the heavyweight championship of the world. Bless all British fans, God Save the Queen - but heaven help Joe Joyce! We will see you on February 23rd." WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder also put forward his thoughts on the intriguing match up, he said, "Joe Joyce will be a good test for him (Stiverne). I’ve seen Joe Joyce before. He’s a good fighter. Joe Joyce fought Joe Hanks on my undercard with Tyson Fury but I didn’t get a chance to see him fight that night. But I’m looking forward to seeing him against Stiverne."