Despite collecting three national junior titles and several Young England vests, Scouse light-welter Michael Joynson is adamant that his all action pressure fighting is far better suited to the paid ranks – an ominous warning to future 140lb rivals.
The cultivated crowdpleaser fights for the first time without a head guard and singlet on Frank Warren’s mammoth show at The Echo Arena in Joynson’s home city of Liverpool on Saturday 25th October.
Ellesmere Port Super-Flyweight ace Paul Butler headlines the ‘Magnificent Seven’ card – which also features Liam Smith against Zoltan Sera for the Vacant WBA Continental Lightweight Championship; Kevin Satchell’s challenge for the European flyweight crown; the hugely anticipated domestic showdown between Derry Mathews and Adam Dingsdale; the big North-West clash between Tom Stalker and Jack Catterall for the Vacant WBO European Light-Welterweight crown, plus Chris Eubank Jnr.
Remaining tickets priced are available from the Liverpool Echo Arena Box Office on 0844 8000 400 or www.echoarena.com
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Recently boxing writer Glynn Evans interviewed the ambitious 20 year old to gather some background information.
Name: Michael Joynson
Born: Fazakerley, Liverpool
Family background: I’m fourth in line of six. I’ve got four sisters plus one older brother. He went to the Kirkby Boxing Club for about a week but, other than that, to my knowledge, there’s been no boxing in the family.
I still live in Kirkby today with me folks. No kids yet.
Trade: I’m in my fourth and final year of an electrical maintenance engineer course.
Nickname: I have ‘Mikey’ on me shorts.
What age did you become interested in boxing and why? Me brother packed up after just one week when I was about eight so Dad suggested I give it a try. As soon as John Lloyd, the founder of the club, saw me hitting the bag, he told me dad I was a natural and would win a national title. I really loved it after that.
What do you recall of your amateur career? I stayed at the Kirkby for 12 years, all my amateur career. It’s a great club that boasts two world champions in John Conteh and Paul Hodkinson. They were often at presentations and ‘Hoko’ even trained at the club now and again, to keep fit.
I was coached by John Lloyd and Dave Kenny. Dave was the main one for me. I had 35 amateur bouts and won 30.
For a period, I went unbeaten for five years and won three national titles continuous, the ‘minors’ and two national schoolboy titles. The run was broken by George Crottey from Stevenage about two years ago. I’d dropped him with a body shot in sparring up at the England set-up about two weeks before, and didn’t think I got beat, to be honest.
I got to the CYP final three times plus the junior ABA final. Three of those losses in finals came to Luke Saunders who’s related to (ex Olympian and unbeaten pro prospect) Bradley Saunders. Luke says he hated fighting me but he always managed to beat me. He had the amateurs down to a tee.
I first boxed for England when I was just 11 or 12. I captained England against Ireland, won the (Junior) Three Nations and was selected to captain England in the European Schoolboys Championships over in the Ukraine but needed to lose too much weight so chose to withdraw.
I boxed once in the Senior ABAs but lost to Tom Farrell from Knowsley Vale in the regional stages and opted to turn pro straight after. With respect, I should’ve beat him on my worst day but, by that stage, I just didn’t want to be amateur any more. I totally enjoyed the amateurs but once I turned 18, the prospect of three minute rounds and longer fights in the pros appealed to me more.
Why did you decide to turn pro when you did? Amateur medals never really interested me. As a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up and make an impression in the pros.
Tell us about your back up team: I’m managed by (Queensberry matchmaker) Jason McClory, promoted by Frank Warren and trained by my old amateur coach Dave Kenny, still at the Kirkby gym.
I believe Dave was a former European silver medallist as an amateur and he apparently had a very similar style to me; loved the hooks to the body. He understands what I do best and knows what I need to improve on.
Tony Quigley Snr (father of the ex British super-middle champ of the same name) supervises my strength and conditioning sessions.
What’s your training schedule? Which parts do you most and least enjoy? I train five times a week but, because I work shifts, the time varies. In addition, four times a week, I’ll do a five mile run.
We’ve been given a date for my debut and ten weeks to get ready. We’ll focus on different things each day.
My gym session begins with a little skip. Then I’ll do six three minute rounds on the pads, four rounds on the bags, strength work and, sometimes, sparring. I spar the likes of Robbie Davies, John Quigley, Steven Lewis, Jazza Dickens, Nathan Brough…. I’ll do some core work then just loosen off.
I learn most in sparring so I suppose that’s what I enjoy best. That’s how you really learn your trade. You don’t get caught hitting the bags. I least enjoy running. I’m okay once I’m on it, it’s just getting myself out the door!
Describe your style? What are your best qualities? I’ve always been more ‘fighter’ but I can do the lot and I’m quite clever. I can counter when I need to. So much depends on what my opponent brings. I’m definitely more suited to the pros. I like my hooks and body shots.
What specifically do you need to work on to fully optimise your potential as a fighter? You have to put a lot more effort into the pros. It’s no longer a hobby, it’s your career. It’s totally different and I need to become more confident but that’ll come with a few fights.
What have you found to be the biggest difference between the pro and amateur codes? There’s national amateur champions who are little more than windmills. In the pros it’s far slower and the quality of shots counts for more so you have to think a lot more.
Who is the best opponent that you’ve shared a ring with? In an actual fight, it’d be Luke Saunders. He was a typical ‘back foot’ amateur. I hated his style which is totally opposite to mine but it worked for him. He’d hold, pull, spin-off….very clever. Total opposite to his cousin Bradley.
In sparring, I’d say it was Tom Stalker. He was world number one amateur and an Olympian who’d won the Commonwealth Games and medalled at the European and World Seniors. He was very fast and hard to hit. And if you weren’t ‘on it’, he’d hit you.
All time favourite fighter: Floyd Mayweather Junior. Past and present. He’s the best in every single way. The whole package.
All time favourite fight: It’d have to be Mayweather versus Ricky Hatton; my two favourite fighters when I was growing up.
Which current match would you most like to see made? Still Floyd versus Pacquiao, just to show the world that Floyd would destroy him with ease.
What is your routine on fight day? I don’t set an alarm but usually wake up early with the excitement of it. Then I’ll spend an hour in the bath. In the amateurs, with same day weigh-ins, you’d be wary what you ate.
I’ll try to chill out all day, maybe listen to music. I’ll probably go for a walk with my coach and other lads from our gym. I’m always conscious of the fight and I’ll be focussing on what I need to do to win well, rather than worrying about my opponent.
Once I arrive at the venue, I’ll chat for about half an hour then disappear with my music on. I’ll think about what I need to do. When I’m warming up, I’ll get some healthy nerves but I won’t spew up. Then I’m ready to go.
Entrance music: ‘Earthquake’ by Labyrinth. That’s also what I do my running to.
What are your ambitions as a boxer? You have to go into the pros with ambitions to be a world champion otherwise there’s no point in doing it. Money doesn’t even come into it.
How do you relax? I’ve tried golf and tennis but I’m not really any good at other sports. I enjoy me holidays abroad and, out of training, I like to go out with friends and have a few drinks and meals; the stuff I’m not otherwise allowed.
Football team: Everton. I used to have a season ticket.
Read: Not much. A bit of Boxing News.
Music: House, dance and techno.
Films/TV: I like any and all films. ‘Man on Fire’ and ‘Training Day’ are a couple of favourites. On TV, I watch Big Brother cos ‘The Boss’ watches it!
Aspiration in life: When I’m an old man, I’d like the young fighters of that era to look up to me and say: ‘What a fighter he was!’
Motto: Nothing but the best is good enough.