The St Michael’s Athy lightweight faced Andrique Allisop of the Seychelles and scored a hard-fought win over a game opponent at Pavilion 6 of the Riocentro.
The inexperienced African islander was overcame by the Irish veteran who tonight fulfilled his dream of fighting at the Olympics.
Using his reach, Allisop began well, but Joyce came into the second half of the opening round, landing some sapping shots that snapped the head of his opponent back as well as some punishing bodywork.
Allisop scored some clean shots in the second stanza but more was coming in return from the Irishman. The 23 year old was then infuriated when he was nicked over the left eye by Joyce’s elbow, but following a doctor’s inspection he was allowed continue and the round was split in the Westmeath fighter’s favour.
With Joyce’s powerful work taking it’s toll, the African fighter tired in the third and final round as Joyce continued to pour forward, rocking him multiple times and ensuring the win.
The final scorecards gave a unanimous decision to Joyce (30-27 x2, 29-28).
It was a second win of the day for Team Ireland who had earlier tasted victory in the welterweight division, with Steven Donnelly defeating Algerian Zohir Kedache.
Joyce now faces a mountainous task in the Last 16 where he takes on Azeri legend Albert Selimov on Tuesday night at approximately 21:45 Irish time and the Mullingar man will need the performance of his lifetime to cause an upset.