This Friday - March 15 - Celtic warriors David Oliver Joyce (9-0-0) and Stephen Tiffney (10-1) will collide for the vacant WBO European featherweight title at Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester, live on iFL TV.
David Joyce sports a decorated amateur career, having won two European Union gold medals and later progressing to represent Ireland in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics. Now, the Mullingar fighter aims to extend his unbeaten professional surge of nine wins and seven KOs within the featherweight division as he prepares to blitz through another opponent in order to claim the World Boxing Organisation European title.
Joyce siad, "I’ve never sparred him (Tiffney) but I know his style. I’m not going to take anything for granted because he’ll come with a game plan - this guy will bring the best out of me and I’ll show the world what I’m about."
On the flip-side of the coin, Edinburgh's Stephen Tiffney will most certainly be sizing up the European belt for March 15. Tiffney's record bears the blemish of one loss to Lewis Paulin back in 2017, missing out on the Scottish Area featherweight strap that was on the line. Although the tough Scotsman ate more leather than anticipated that night in Paisley, suffering a points defeat against his countryman, he now perceives the loss as a blessing in disguise and an extremely valuable lesson that has ultimately raised his game, enhanced his skills and fuelled his determination to win.
Tiffney commented, “There are some things that you only realise when you lose, so it definitely made me a better fighter and I don’t see it as a negative. I’m looking to pick up titles this year so I can’t wait and once you get hold of that first title you can then push onto bigger and better things, but I’m not looking past Joyce and I’m fully focused on him."
So, who walks away with the title in Manchester this coming Friday? Let's take a look at what artillery both men bring to the squared circle:
Known as 'The Punisher', David Joyce is a solid fighter: fast, ferocious and hungry for an opportunity to advance into the world-class featherweight mix. Joyce proficiently developed his ringcraft during the years he seasoned as an amateur; learning to cut off the ring, tire-out his man by utilising footwork before unleashing a violent whoosh of powerful hooks and flurrying combinations that pepper the head and pound the body.
After fighting at Madison Square Garden last year on the Danny Jacobs vs. Sergey Derevyanchenko undercard, Joyce has undoubtedly developed a taste for the prolific arenas and the prestigious title bouts to match. Therefore, his vast amateur experience, fierce ambition and skill, place him in good stead for his 10th victory.
In short, Stephen Tiffney is a "Switcher". Tiffney dances within the parameters of both "Orthodox" and "Southpaw" styles - an extremely tricky and problematic fighter whose method and technique of fighting, stifles and ties-up his opponent's gameplan with strategic, elaborate knots; thus, exposing their defence for attack.
The Edinburgh man possesses firm knockout power to accompany his perplexed style of boxing, and with the bitter taste of defeat still remnant and residual in his mouth, every ounce of Stephen Tiffney's physical and psychological fighting spirit will battle to never charter those waters of defeat again, but only to ascertain he emerges victoriously in this European title clash, catapulting towards world level title contention.
In addition to the MTK Global event, Raza Hamza, Macaulay McGowan, Ben Sheedy and Craig Bunn pack-out a talented card and cracking evening of professional boxing.