With all the talk of Joe Joyce being steered towards a massive showdown with Daniel Dubois later this year, Michael Wallisch would love nothing more than to torch those plans.
The fringe heavyweight contender from Munich, Germany comes in as a heavy underdog to hand Joyce (10-0, 9KOs) his first defeat as they square off Saturday evening at BT Sport Studio in East London, England. More so, it’s a fight he only accepted earlier this month.
“It was a short-notice offer, but I am always willing to fight everyone,” Wallisch told BoxingScene.com. “The show must go on and so must my career.”
Even at 6’5 ½”, Wallisch is met with a tall order in his third career road trip. The 6’6” Joyce captured a Silver medal for Great Britain in the 2016 Rio Olympics and has enjoyed a quick rise to mid-level contender as a pro. The 34-year old Londoner is coming off an impressive 2019 campaign, scoring knockout wins over former titlist Bermane Stiverne and fringe contender Alexander Ustinov before outlasting former title challenger Bryant Jennings over 12 rounds last July.
Wallisch (20-3, 13KOs) has only been slightly more active, though not nearly boasting the same amount of success—or any at all. His last bout came in September, suffering a 3rd stoppage at the hands of France’s Tony Yoka, whom outboxed Joyce in the Gold medal round of Rio 2016. Five months prior came a 2nd round knockout to 2016 Nigerian Olympian Efe Ajagba, with a confidence restoring win wedged in between.
While his latest road adventure won’t include any partisan fans in attendance, it does come under the direction of assigned ring officials. Wallisch plans on removing all doubt on Saturday night.
“With the fight notice, I had another 2 ½ weeks of preparation,” admits Wallisch. “We went full throttle. “Of course, we are prepared to beat Joe Joyce. We didn’t prepare just to try to beat him by decision.
“For what we worked on in training, we don’t expect him to last ten rounds.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox