The Pugilist

English talent hopes to punch his way to Commonwealth glory

The Pugilist

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England heavyweight Joseph Joyce is confident of hitting gold at Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games later this month.

Joyce, who boxes out of Earlsfield ABC, will compete in the 91kg category after securing his place in England’s squad by winning the ABA National English Final in April.

The 28-year-old came late to boxing but after claiming bronze at the European Boxing Championships last year believes he is ready to go one better this time round.

He said: “I have improved since the European Championships and as the dangerous nations such as the Russians, Ukrainians and Cubans won’t be there it is a big opportunity for me to do well.

“I have the experience of competing at big competitions now so I am ready to go out and get the gold.”

After the London Olympics announced the likes of Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell to the boxing world, Joyce is hoping the Commonwealth Games will gave a similar impact on his career.

He said: “It’s going to be like a mini Olympics. After the success of London 2012 I am sure the public will get behind us and it’s going to be a real spectacle.

“The good thing about tournaments like the Olympics and the Commonwealth games is that it gets everyday people out in support. Especially with England being out of the World Cup we are hoping the country will get behind the squad.

“With it being on prime-time television I will hopefully get my name out there to a wider audience. It would be great to get the recognition that Anthony Joshua has gone on to get since the Olympics.”

Olympic Gold medallist Nicola Adams and fellow south-Londoner Charlie Edwards are  among the three women and eight men who make up England’s boxing squad.

And Joyce expects his teammates to bring home plenty of medals after an inspirational training camp at the English Institution of Sport in Sheffield.

He said: “I think that as a group we should be on for a few medals. Boxing in England is as good as anywhere in the world at the moment so we should have a good tournament.

“We have got great coaches and great support staff and the facilities in Sheffield are perfect.

“Carl Froch was around in the build up to the Groves fight which was good for all the guys to see. He would speak to the whole squad and do sprints with us, it was great motivation for him and for us as well.”

Joyce, whose long term ambition is to turn professional, celebrates big victories with a backflip and said he will be saving the acrobatics for the final.

He said: “I don’t do it at the end of every fight, I’ll be saving the flip for the final.

“I might try and talk to the gymnasts about it but I won’t be trying anything too adventurous, I’ll stick to the back flip for now.

"I don’t want to be remembered for face-planting at the Commonwealth Games.”

Robert Horgan | Follow on Twitter

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