Joe Joyce and Lee Selby pick up victories in the O2 Arena
Joe Joyce put his undefeated streak on the line against former WBC champion Bermane Stiverne. This fight had serious meaning for both men as the winner’s career continues while the other will see a decline. Additionally, the bout would be for the Commonwealth title and served as a WBA eliminator.
In the early rounds, this fight was all action. Joyce immediately started using his jab to back up the veteran opponent. His training in the legendary Big Bear camp would serve to be effective as the undefeated contender was letting the leather fly.
However, Stiverne who came in at a heavy 273 pounds was able to land counter-overhand rights followed up by a left hook. The young contender would step back, look at the fading opponent and attack to the body and head. This resulted in a knocked down in the third from a beautiful right-hand counter.
The middle rounds saw the younger fighter making the adjustment; blocking the overhand right, then countering with his own right while building everything off the jab. Those counter right-hands by the former champion landed, but were more arm punches with nothing behind it.
Joyce started to find a home for the uppercut followed up by a right-hand, while Stiverne started to show fatigue from taking punishment. He was leaning on the ropes, looking to counter, however, after three unanswered hard punches by Joyce, the ref to stopped the fight.
Stiverne wouldn’t protest the stoppage, showing signs of damage from the punishment taken. This was a big victory for the younger challenger as a measuring stick to see if he’s ready for the championship level caliber fights.
This performance gives us a look at the improving development of the man they call “The Juggernaut.”
Lee Selby vs Omar Douglas
Also on the card, former IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby would enter his first bout at junior lightweight against a tough veteran.
With two cuts suffered in the bout, he would weather the storm against Douglas who applied relentless pressure for ten rounds. The former champion would keep his composure, fighting behind his jab and clinching if Douglas got within mid-range distance.
There were points in the fight where the clinching became excessive, however, the referee allowed it to happen. Selby would eventually record a unanimous decision victory in hopes to become the first two-division champion from Wales.
By: Garrisson Bland & EJ Williams