Guernsey Press

Joyce visit gets local boxers ‘buzzing’

An Olympic silver medallist and aspiring world heavyweight champion has given the nod to the Guernsey Amalgamated Boxing Club’s facilities and enthusiastic personnel after paying a surprise visit.

Olympic silver medallist Joe Joyce pictured helping Albie Netherton, aged 14, on his visit to the Guernsey Amalgamated Boxing Club. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31445228)

Fortunate up-and-coming boxers flocked to see Joe Joyce, who is a man of great stature both physically and in his sport.

The 6ft 6in powerhouse from London secured super-heavyweight silver at Rio 2016 as an amateur and has since won all 15 of his professional bouts, 14 of which were by stoppage. He currently holds the World Boxing Organisation’s interim heavyweight title.

The ‘Juggernaut’ has become familiar with Guernsey through visiting his locally-based girlfriend after meeting her in the UK.

But last Friday night he captured the admiration of Guernsey’s aspiring young boxers as he spoke, posed for photos, and even sparred with them at the St Martin’s venue.

‘I think it looks like a good gym and it’s really great to see how different gyms are,’ he said.

‘It’s amazing that such a small island has got such a big boxing club. It’s all here – it’s pretty good.’

Twins Kody and Carson Domaille posing with the 'Juggernaught'. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31456522)

His advice for a young boxer with big dreams?

‘Just keep learning and improving,’ he added. ‘Train hard, train smart.’

Joyce sees Rio 2016 as a ‘big standout moment’ of his career, alongside his WBO interim title bout in September, when he became the first man to knock out New Zealand’s Joseph Parker at professional level.

The 37-year-old is now aiming to become a true champion of the world – he has been vocal about his hopes of facing Oleksandr Usyk, the man who successfully defended his multiple international belts by defeating Anthony Joshua in August.

Boxing development officer Mandy Hobart hopes that others have taken inspiration from the special guest.

‘It’s nice to finally get the recognition that we are an amateur boxing club,’ she said.

‘That’s where Joe started. For him to come here and meet our senior and junior boxers, it has just got them buzzing and aspiring to do as well as he has done.'

‘It’s just amazing and we are so lucky that he has taken time out of his holiday to come and see the club.'

‘And to take pads with the kids – they are never going to forget that, are they?’