Dynamite-fisted Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion Joe Joyce will defend his title and unbeaten record against Ghanaian powerhouse Richard Lartey at the home of London boxing, The York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Friday 15th June.
The ‘Juggernaut’, from Putney in South West London, moves fast to make the first defence of the title that he won only last month at London’s O2 Arena with a devastating second round KO of Lenroy Thomas.
In registering that stunning victory, Joyce became the first ever heavyweight boxer to win the prestigious Commonwealth title in just his fourth fight – and with only 12 professional rounds under his belt.
The 2016 Olympic Silver Medallist made an explosive entry into the professional ranks last October with an eighth round stoppage of the experienced and former British title challenger Ian Lewison.
He followed that up that unheralded debut win with two explosive first round victories this year against Rudolf Jozic in February and then Donnie Palmer in March before facing experienced 21-4 Thomas a tricky southpaw.
Joyce, 32, now faces a stern test against the big-punching Lartey, who fights out of Ghana’s legendary fighting city of Accra that has produced some of Africa’s greatest ever boxers including Azumah Nelson and Ike Quartey.
The 6ft 5in Lartey, previously the Ghanaian Heavyweight Champion, holds a 13-fight record with 12 wins, nine coming by way of knockout and he likes to end fights early with five of those big KOs coming inside the second round. He challenged for the WBC Youth Silver Heavyweight title in December 2014 which resulted in his sole career loss, but has remained undefeated in six fights since.
However, Joyce relishes the challenge and says he is looking forwarding to comparing his firepower to Lartey’s and is confident he will extinguish whatever his opponent brings to the ring.
Joyce said, “The bigger the challenge the better I perform and Lartey looks like he can pack some power in the ring so lets see if he can bring it on against me. Four stoppages in four fights and the Commonwealth title is already ticked off. I’ll be going all out to make Lartey number five, keep hold of my belt and tear it up going forward. I haven’t even be a pro for a year yet, I’m thrilled with my progress so far and there is so much more to come from me, it’s frightening when I think about what I’m going to be doing in the heavyweight division.”
Joyce v Lartey headlines a fantastic fight card that features an array of talent and in the chief supporting contest, Sam Smith and Anisha Basheel clash for the Vacant Commonwealth Female Lightweight title; MMA superstar Michael “Venom” Page, fresh off his Bellator victory last month, returns to the boxing ring and faces Michael Ciash over four rounds at light-heavyweight; female fighting sensation Savannah Marshall, Britain’s first ever female World Amateur Champion, features in a six-round super-middleweight contest; the incredible and inspirational Ruqsana Begum faces Ivanka Ivanova in a rematch after their contest ended in a draw in March and collide over four rounds at super-flyweight; red-hot unbeaten Welsh super-middleweight Kody Davies will face Eric Mokonzo over four-rounds
Completing the card will be Richmond super-middleweight Chris Davies, the exciting pro-debut of heavyweight George Fox, son of renowned trainer Don Charles; Hitchin super-welterweight Tom Ansall, Luton super-welterweight Linus Udofia, Hayes featherweight Fuad Huseen and Rochester super-featherweight Brandon Ball.
Remaining tickets priced at £40 and VIP Ringside Seating at £150 (both subject to booking fee) are available from iboxingtickets.com