10 August 2008 – by Mark Doyle
John Joe Joyce made it two wins out of two for Ireland’s boxers in Beijing with a quite brilliant 9-5 victory over Gyula Kate on Sunday.
The Athy light-welterweight went into the bout as a massive underdog, given that he had lost his three previous meetings with the Hungarian, who is ranked number eight in the world.
However, after a cagey opening, which was unsurprising given their familiarity with one another, Joyce gradually took control.
Kate actually scored the first point but Joyce had moved 3-2 in front by the end of the opening stanza.
Joyce’s speed was proving the the difference between the two men. He was cleverly boxing on the outside, waiting for the surprisingly erratic Kate to come in and then picking the Hungarian off, often with sharp left hands.
When that tactic did not work, he simply tied Kate up and regrouped.
The pair shared the four points which were awarded in the tight second round, meaning Joyce still led by a point as we entered the third, a round which the Irishman completely dominated.
He moved beautifully during those two minutes, and counter-punched with exquisite accuracy, racking up three unanswered points to make it 8-4.
All that was required now was a solid final round and Joyce, demonstrating impressive maturity and composure, delivered, simply dancing his way to a career-best victory.
With his nemesis Kate now out of his way, Joyce must be considered a live medal prospect.
To keep up to date with each fighters Olympic schedule check out our Upcoming Bouts section on the site. Well also have reports and news on all our fighters in our latest news section throughout the Games.